|Date of Birth||May 22, 1881|
|Place of Birth||Berens River, Manitoba|
|Next of Kin||Mrs J Linklater, mother, Kenora, Ontario|
|Trade / Calling||labourer|
|Religion||Church of England|
|Service Record||Link to Service Record|
|Battalion||1st Battalion, CRT|
|Force||Canadian Expeditionary Force|
|Branch||Canadian Railway Troops|
|Enlisted / Conscripted||Enlisted|
|Address at Enlistment||Kenora, Ontario|
|Date of Enlistment||December 28, 1915|
|Age at Enlistment||34|
|Theatre of Service||Europe|
|Prisoner of War||No|
|Date of Death||October 30, 1965|
|Age at Death||84|
|Buried At||Brookside Cemetery, Winnipeg, Manitoba|
According to his attestation papers Hugh Linklater was born on 22 May 1881 in Berens River, Manitoba. His father Jacob Linklater had been born in the Northwest Territories and had entered service with the Hudson’s Bay Company in 1868. Jacob served in the Norway House District as runner, midman, and fisherman until 1878 and then renewed his contract from 1878 until his service ended as a freeman in 1884. Found in the 1881 Canada census for the District called the Manitoba Extension, subdistrict Northeastern Extension, of the province of Manitoba, family members included father Jacob with occupation given as servant, mother Charlotte (Muskego), and children John (age 6), Mary (age 4), Jacob (3 months). In all likelihood, Hugh’s formal name was Jacob Hugh Linklater.
The Linklater family was next found living in Rat Portage (later renamed Kenora) in 1901, with household members of Jacob and Charlotte, and children Hugh, Charles, Jessie, Nancy, Charlotte, and Richard. Racial or Tribal origin for the family was given as Scotch Breed. John, having married Agnes Cameron on 10 December 1900, was living next door. By the 1911 Canada census, household members were Jacob and Charlotte, and children Hugh, Charles, Richard, Elizabeth (Nancy), and Christie. Jessie had married John Bunn 25 December 1909 and they were living next door with their two children.
Hugh signed his attestation papers on 28 December 1915 in Kenora. With occupation given as labourer, he was listed as single. Officially authorized on 22 December 1915, the 94th Battalion was headquartered in Port Arthur, Ontario and recruitment drew from throughout northwestern Ontario. On 25 May 1916, the men of the C and D Companies from Kenora and Fort Frances were moved to the Lakehead and on 9 June, the 94th left for training camp at Valcartier, Quebec. On 28 June, with the 94th, Private Hugh Linklater embarked from Halifax aboard the Olympic.
Once overseas the battalion ceased to exist as the men were transferred to the 17th and 32nd Reserve Battalions to be used as replacements for casualties in the front lines. In late August Hugh embarked for France, taken on strength in the field with the 16th Battalion. On 10 October 1916 he suffered a gunshot wound to the back, gunshot wound to the shoulder, and shrapnel wound to the back. He was admitted to the No 13 General Hospital in Boulogne and then transferred to the Military Hospital in Bethnal Green. In November he was moved to the Canadian Convalescent Hospital in Bromley.
Discharged in December, the following February he joined the 1st Battalion, Canadian Railway Troops in the field in France. In late December he was granted a 14 day leave to the UK. In May of 1918 Hugh was injured in an accident in the Varennes yard as the men were loading steel rails on a flat car, jamming his hand between the rail and a skid. In January of 1919 he returned to England, posted to the Canadian Railway Troops Depot at Witley until transfer to Kinmel Park pending return to Canada.
Private Hugh Linklater returned to Canada on the Scotia, arriving in St John, New Brunswick on 1 March 1919. Little is known about his life after the war although it appears that he returned to Kenora.
Hugh died on 30 October 1965 in Deer Lodge Hospital in Winnipeg although up until admission he had been residing in Kenora. He is interred in the Military section of Brookside Cemetery in Winnipeg.
Hugh is commemorated on the St. Alban’s Pro-Cathedral First World War Roll of Honour.
With the Canadian Engineers, Hugh’s brother Charles also served during WW1. He too survived the war, returning to Kenora. He died on 27 October 1968 in Deer Lodge Hospital and is interred in Lake of the Woods Cemetery, Kenora.
By Judy Stockham