Dr. James “Walter” Coulter was born in Chatham Township near Oungah, on the 13th of February, 1884. He was the eldest of 8 children born to George Thomas Coulter and the former Rebecca Margaret Irwin. His parents were farmers and his siblings were; William Burrell Coulter, Frank Coulter, Ollie May Coulter (who died of septicaemia in 1905 at the age of 13), George Irwin Coulter, John Edmund Coulter, Mary Anne Coulter and Margaret “Irene” Coulter. Dr. Coulter attended school locally and he enjoyed playing football.
Dr. Coulter graduated M.B. from Queen’s University in 1915. While still in Kingston, he enlisted in World War I on the 26th of March, 1915. He served with the Queen’s Contingent, rising to the rank of Major in the Royal Army Medical Corp. While serving his country, Dr. Coulter was twice wounded in France.
Dr. Coulter was married to Violet Lillian Robbins in England in June of 1916. Mrs. Coulter was born on the 5th of September, 1894 in Shrewsbury, Shropshire, England, the eldest of 6 children born to John Robin Robbins and the former Eleanor Annetta Turner. Her father was a hair stylist and her siblings were; Jack, Nellie, Doris, Phyllis and Josephine.
Dr. and Mrs. Coulter had a son, Patrick Trevor Coulter born in Shrewsbury, Shropshire, England on the 13th of January,1918.
According to an article that appeared in the 11th of March, 1918 edition of the Chatham Daily Planet (C.D.P.), Dr. Coulter was twice wounded and he was convalescing in England. In another article (C.D.P. 22 April, 1918), Dr. Coulter was presented with the Military Cross. Upon completion of his service during WWI, Dr. Coulter took up post-graduate studies in surgery at Edinburgh University. After 5 years of living abroad, Dr. Coulter returned to Chatham in the spring of 1920 with his wife and son and he set up his medical practice on Sixth Street in Chatham.
Dr. and Mrs. Coulter had a second son Stuart Glen (Mike) Coulter who was born in Chatham. The Coulter family resided at 72 Victoria Ave. in Chatham.
According to the 1928 Ontario Medical Register, Dr. Coulter joined the College of Physicians and Surgeons on the 12th of June, 1920. Dr. Coulter was the Medical Officer for the 24th Kent Regiment for some time. He was also the physician at the Kent County Jail and for the C.N.R. He was a member in good standing with the Kent County Medical Association.
Dr. Coulter was admitted to the Public General Hospital in Chatham on May 1st, 1951 and he died the same day. He was buried at the Dresden Cemetery. At the time of his death, he had 3 grandchildren. Mrs. Coulter died at the Public General Hospital in Chatham on the 1st of October, 1970.
Dr. and Mrs. Coulter’s sons both attended Queen’s University. Dr. Patrick Coulter graduated from Queen’s University in 1943. Dr. Stuart Glenn Coulter graduated from Queen’s University in 1945.
*Dr. James Walter Coulter and his two sons appear on the Gathering Our Heroes website. Dr. Coulter’s brother William Coulter also served during WWI. He was wounded at Vimy Ridge but would survive. Private William Coulter is also featured on the Gathering Our Heroes website.
**Dr. Coulter’s son Dr. Patrick Trevor Coulter is also featured on the Chatham-Kent Physician Tribute website. His son Dr. Stuart G. (Mike) Coulter practiced medicine in Toronto.