William Bennett Milliken was born in Port Colbourne, Ontario on 12th July 1883.
The 1891 census for Canada on Ancestry.co.uk shows that the Milliken family were living in Port Colbourne, Welland County, Ontario, Canada. Head of the household, Edwin Potter Milliken age 43 born 1847 in Ontario was an Inland Revenue Officer by trade, his wife Mary Elizabeth age 34 was Edwins first wife, born in the United States. They had ten children living at home in 1891, they were, Norman D’Arcy age 17, Simon Dumond age 15, Mary Jane Rachael age 13, Edwin Potter age 10, Benjamin Metcalf age 8, William Bennett age 7, Henry Morrow age 6, Elizabeth Ann Magdaline age 4, Susan Alice age 3 and Harriet Lucinda age 1.
Ten years on we find that the Milliken family were still living in Port Colbourne and that there had been some additions to the family. Head of the household Edwin Potter Milliken was still an employee of the government age 53, his wife Mary Elizabeth was 45 years of age and the children living at home in 1901 were, Benjamin Metcalfe age 19, William Bennett age 17 Henry Morrow age 15, Elizabeth Ann Magdaline age 13, Susan Alice age 11, Harriet Lucinda age 9 and the new additions to the family, Sarah Melissa age 5 and Marguerite Emmeline age 3.
There is a Public Family Tree,Ye Olde Family Tree on Ancestry.co.uk.
I contacted the owner of the tree, Carol Sisson McLeod and she has given her permission for me to use the images on the Tree.
Mary Elizabeth, William’s mother died on 23rd August 1904.
On 23rd May 1907, Edwin married his second wife, Elizabeth (Betty) Darnbrough. Information supplied by Carol Sisson McLeod, Ye Olde family Tree, Ancestry.co.uk
I cannot trace the Milliken family on any 1911 census forms.
Attestation Form for Private 725004 William Bennett Milliken from The Library of Canada.
William enlisted into the Canadian Expeditionery Force on 11th December 1915 at Lindsay Ontario. He gave his father’s name, Edwin Milliken as next of kin and his address as Port Colbourne, Ontario, his trade at that time was Labourer.
After basic training in Canada William was transferred to Halifax for the journey to England aboard the S.S.Emperor of England and disembarked in London on 5th May 1916.
William completed his training in U.K. and was posted to France with the 6th Canadian Forestry Troops on 6th December 1916 and disembarked at Harvre on 7th December 1916.
To read about the Canadian Forestry Troops during WW1, please follow the link.
He was awarded leave in Paris in September 1917 and was promoted to Engineer with a raise in his wage on 1st March 1918. Unfortunately due to some unofficial absenteeism in June 1918 he was relieved of his Engineer status on 30th June 1918.
William remained in the Field until 21st January 1919 when he was transferred from France to Sunningdale Army Camp and shortly afterwards on 15th February to Kinmel Park Army Camp to prepare for repatriation to Canada.
Kinmel Park Camp was a segregation camp used to house Canadian Soldiers awaiting repatriation to Canada after the end of WW1. Unfortunately the conditions at that time were extremely harsh with a lack of every kind of commodity, the camp was overcrowded and the services were poor, there were shortages of clothing, food and blankets. As a result of this situation, a vast number of servicemen and women became ill and many succumbed to the Influenza Epidemic or complications associated with this infection.
Tragically William contracted Pneumonia and was admitted to No. 9 Canadian General Hospital at Kinmel Camp where his condition deteriorated and he died at 5pm on 28th February 1919.
William Bennett Milliken is buried in St. Margaret’s Cemetery, Bodelwyddan.
He is commemorated on the Canadian Virtual War Memorial.
Benjamin Metcalf Milliken, William’s brother, enlisted into the Canadian Expeditionery Force regimental number 513703 in 1917, but after a medical and a short period of basic training was deemed to be unfit for military service and was discharged.
He then moved to the United States of America where he enlisted into the U.S. Army.