Provincial Archives of New Brunswick

Dictionary of Miramichi Biography

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WATLING, EDWARD WALLACE, athlete, military officer, and grocer; mayor of Chatham, 1929; b. Chatham, 16 Mar 1888, s/o Alexander Watling and Catherine Kelly; m. 1911, Nellie D. Gunning, d/o Henry D. Gunning and Christie Ann MacKinnon, of Moncton and Chatham; d. Moncton, 14 Sep 1929.

In 1985 E. Wallace Watling, "the best all-round athlete ever produced on the Miramichi," was inducted posthumously into the New Brunswick Sports Hall of Fame. He had participated in track and field, hockey, basketball, rugby, and boxing. "In track and field he excelled in the 100 and 200 yard dashes, the 400 yard relay, the broad jump, and the shot put, winning numerous events at both the provincial and Maritime levels." He was on championship hockey teams representing Chatham, Fredericton, and Campbellton. He was a player with the Chatham Stars in 1910 when that baseball club took the New Brunswick championship. He was a member of the Canadian forces' championship baseball team in England. Later he coached Chatham town and St Thomas College teams, officiated at sporting events, sat on local, provincial, and national athletic bodies, and "did much for clean sport."

Watling served two stints in World War I. After being engaged at the front with the 'Fighting 26th' as a corporal, he was recalled in 1916 and commissioned a lieutenant in the 145th Westmorland and Kent Battalion. During his second tour in Europe he won the Military Cross and Bar. Prior to his discharge he was promoted to major. In civilian life he was employed in J. B. Snowball & Co.'s grocery store in Chatham. When the company disposed of this branch of the business in 1923 he and a partner, Earl Malley, bought it and conducted it under the name of Watling & Malley.

Watling sat for four years on the Chatham Town Council and was elected mayor in 1929. It was stated that he gave the town "the most business-like administration" which it had seen in a long time, but he did not live to complete his term. He was hospitalized in Moncton at the time of his death that year, at age forty-one. He was survived by his wife, Nellie D. Gunning, three daughters, and three sons. His son Lloyd A. Watling was an officer in the Canadian army in World War II, and he too was decorated with the Military Cross.


[b] census [m] Advocate 31 Jan 1911 [d] Advocate 18 Sep 1929 / Advocate 10 Apr 1923; Commercial World 21 May 1942, 16 Mar 1944, 24 May 1951; Daily Gleaner 5 Jun 1987; Fraser (C); Leader 20 Sep 1929; News 20 Mar 1985; World 17 May 1916