Kenora Great War Project


Personal Details
Date of BirthAugust 28, 1899
Place of BirthRat Portage (Kenora), Ontario
Marital StatusSingle
Next of KinMrs Frank (Margaret) Linklater, aunt, 422 Jarvis Street, Winnipeg, Manitoba
Trade / CallingMachinist's Apprentice
ReligionChurch of England
Service Details
Regimental Number922329
Service Record Link to Service Record
Battalion78th Battalion
ForceCanadian Expeditionary Force
BranchCanadian Infantry
Enlisted / ConscriptedEnlisted
Date of EnlistmentApril 24, 1916
Age at Enlistment16
Theatre of ServiceEurope
Prisoner of WarNo
Survived WarYes
Death Details
Date of DeathMarch 1, 1950
Age at Death50
Buried AtBrookside Cemetery, Winnipeg, Manitoba

Millward, Joseph

The son of George Millward and Margaret Donald, Joseph Millward was born on 28 August 1899 in Rat Portage (later renamed Kenora), Ontario, date of birth confirmed by his Ontario birth record. His father George, a cook, was from England while his mother’s Métis roots were in the Red River Settlement in Manitoba. Margaret had previously been married to Charles Linklater, the couple giving birth to children Frank (1881) and Mary (1883), followed by Thomas Charles (1884) and Margaret Jane (1886), the latter two births registered in the RM of St Clements in Manitoba. By the birth of their next child William in 1888 the family had relocated to Rat Portage. However, the marriage failed and by the time of the 1891 census Charles had moved to Winnipeg while Margaret was living in Rat Portage with George. A daughter Nellie had been born in 1890, birth registered with Charles as the father but her surname later changed to Millward. At the time of the 1891 census children living with George and Margaret were Frank, Mary, and Nellie, Margaret’s occupation given as laundress. Margaret’s son Thomas was living with the William and Elizabeth Irving family, daughter Margaret Jane with Charlotte Hanger, and William, listed as an adopted son, with John Flett, all back in Manitoba.

Margaret and George gave birth to four children, Edwin George (1892), Mabel (1894), Arthur (1896), and Joseph. Sadly Arthur died in 1904 followed by Margaret in 1905, both interred in the Lake of the Woods Cemetery in Kenora. Meanwhile in Manitoba, Charles had married his second wife Mary Elizabeth McDougall, giving birth to three children Elizabeth Gertrude (1894), David Charles (1896), and Harold (1901). After the death of Margaret George could no longer care for the children and the family unit disintegrated. By the time of the 1911 census Joseph was living with his half brother Frank, his wife Margaret (née Swain), and son Leslie in Portage la Prairie, Manitoba, listed as an adopted son on the census. When Margaret moved to Winnipeg by 1916, Joseph had moved with her, residing on Jarvis Street.

Joseph signed his attestation papers with the 200th Battalion in Winnipeg on 24 April 1916. His occupation was given as machinist’s apprentice, his date and place of birth as 15 August 1897 in Kenora, and his next of kin as his ‘aunt’ Mrs F (Margaret) Linklater of 422 Jarvis Street in Winnipeg. During training in early 1917 Joseph was hospitalized for a month at St Boniface, suffering from diphtheria. As a Private with the battalion he embarked from Halifax aboard the Megantic on 30 April 1917.

Once in England the 200th Battalion was absorbed by the 11th Reserve Battalion and that November Joseph was transferred from it to the 78th Battalion, landing in France on the 11th and joining the unit in the field on the 23rd. The 78th Battalion (Winnipeg Grenadiers) disembarked in France on 13 August 1916, where it fought as part of the 12th Brigade, 4th Canadian Division in France and Flanders until the armistice. Joseph was awarded a Good Conduct Badge on 24 April 1918 and granted a fourteen day leave to the UK in late October . With the end of the war he proceeded to England in early May 1919, embarking for Canada aboard the Adriatic on the 31st. Joseph was discharged from service on 12 June 1919 in Winnipeg, intended residence given as Kenora.

By the early 1920’s Joseph was living in Saskatchewan, found living with the William Anderson family on their farm in Myril Creek, Maple Creek at the time of the 1921 census. It is likely that Joseph married his wife Irene while in Saskatchewan. By a 1935 Voters list the couple were living in Winnipeg where Joseph was working as a painter. For a while it appears that they farmed in Grand Marais, Manitoba (1940 Voters list) but had returned to Winnipeg by the time of a 1949 list. According to his obituary, Joseph served with the Commissionaires at the cordite plant in Transcona and the McDonald Brothers Aircraft.

Joseph died on 1 March 1950 in Grace Hospital in Winnipeg. At the time of his death he was survived by his wife Irene, brother Edwin of Breton, Alberta and sister Mabel of Kansas City, Missouri. He was predeceased by brother Arthur and his mother Margaret, and his father George in 1924 in Kansas City. Mabel (Watson) died in 1964 in Kansas City and Edwin in 1965 in Breton. His sister Nellie had married Joseph Elliston in 1911 in Winnipeg, with a border crossing record for 1914 last trace of her. Private Joseph Millward is interred in a military plot in Brookside Cemetery in Winnipeg.

Many of the children of both Margaret Donald and Charles Linklater served during the war. Their son Frank Linklater enlisted in September of 1914, going overseas with the 8th Battalion. First listed as wounded, Frank was reported as missing and presumed dead as of 24 April 1915 at Gravenstafel during the 2nd Battle of Ypres. With no known grave he is commemorated on the Menin Gate Memorial. Their son William Linklater enlisted after the death of Frank, going overseas to serve with the 8th Battalion. In the trenches east of Willerval during the Battle of Arras, William was reported as killed in action on 14 April 1917. With no known grave he is commemorated on the Vimy Memorial. Charles’ sons David and Harold Linklater both enlisted, David going overseas with the 79th Battalion and serving in Belgium and France with the 1st Canadian Mounted Rifles. Suffering shell shock, trench fever, a gunshot wound, and gassing, David returned to Canada in May of 1919. Harold enlisted in 1917 in Lindsay, Ontario with the 252nd Battalion, transferring to the No 3 Special Service Company before being discharged as underage. Joseph’s brother Edwin Millward signed his attestation papers in Portage la Prairie in 1915, going overseas with the 44th Battalion. He served in France and Belgium as a Sergeant with the 2nd Battalion, Canadian Machine Gun Corps. Joseph’s half brothers Frank and William Linklater are commemorated on the Selkirk War Memorial in Selkirk, Manitoba. The monument was erected in commemoration of people from the Selkirk, St Andrews, and St Clements areas killed during military service.

By Judy Stockham


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