Walter B Dittrick UE
Flank Company
4th Regiment Lincoln Militia

Walter Dittrick was born on the 31 May 1793 on the family farmstead, 12 Mile Creek St. Catharines, Upper Canada as recorded in the family bible (St. Catharines Public Library, Special Collections). He was the fourth son of Sergeant Jacob Dittrick, former Butler’s Ranger, and Margaret Pickard. She was the daughter of William Pickard who along with two of his sons were also members of Captain Bernard Frey’s Company of Butler’s Rangers.

Walter appeared on the muster of Captain John McEwen’s 2nd Flank Company 1st Regiment Lincoln Militia as a private prior to the outbreak of the War of 1812. In IH Irving’s , study, Officers of the British Forces in Canada, published by the Canadian Military Institute he is recorded with the rank of Lieutenant on the 25 Oct 1812.

Early in the War he served as juror for several of the militia trials at Fort George, also serving as Duty Officer. He was present at the Battles of Queenston Heights, Fort George (or Niagara), and Lundy’s Lane. He was promoted to the rank of Captain but because no further commissions were available in his Regiment he had to transfer to Colonel Robert Nellis’s Flank Company Lincoln Militia where he served until his retirement in 1833 recording in his letter of resignation that the 40 mile commute from Niagara to muster annually in Grimsby was too difficult. Subsequently, he appeared on the muster of the St. Catharines Volunteer Troop of Cavalry under command of Captain Rolland MacDonald in 1838 (P.A.C. R.G.9 1B1, volume 31) indicating further service during the 1837-38 Insurrection.

Following the War of 1812 he married Jane Field on the 4 Jan 1816. She was the daughter of Inn-Keeper Charles and Rosannah Cassada Field of Niagara. Walter pursued alike vocation and was recorded as proprietor at the Canal Hotel, the former stand of Paul Shipman and subsequently a Mr. Smith (10th February 1829, St. Catharines Farmer’s Journal). This is the tavern formerly referred to as Shipman’s Tavern which many novice local historians have inaccurately referred to as the original name of the St. Catharines community, as this delivery location appeared on the covers of numerous correspondents delivered to that location which served as the community mail drop and pick-up location for a period, as did many taverns and half-way stops located along defined coach routes, where mail was delivered.  Walters Tavern became the location of elections, meetings of a political nature, meetings of  agricultural societies, and militia dinners.

He received 100 acre Prince Regent Land Grant in Zorra County of Oxford, Home District of London for his service (Ontario Archives: R.G. 1; C. iv box 605). This complemented his 200 acres of Family Lands granted as the son of a UE Loyalist which he applied for on the 9 Jan 1821 (P.A.C. RG1, L3, volume 157, bundle 14, Reel C-1875).

Walter died at his St. Catharines home of natural causes on the 25 June 1862 and was buried in the Hainer plot along side of his sister Catharine Hainer in Victoria Lawn Cemetery, St. Catharines, Ontario.

This narrative was prepared by his great nephew Garth Dittrick UE.

Veteran Summary

Walter Dittrick
Captain, 2nd Flank Company 1st Regiment Lincoln Militia
Place of Birth
St. Catharines, ON, CAN
Place of Death
St. Catharines, ON, CAN
Died on: 25 JUN 1862
Reason: Natural Causes
Location of Grave
Victoria Lawn Cemetery, Victoria Lawn Cemetery
St. Catharines, ON, CAN
Latitude: 43.161769N Longitude: -79.201156