The Widower

Lieutenant Colonel H.L. Milligan, D.S.O.
18th (Western Ontario) Battalion


I met Colonel Milligan recently, and am advised that he is not physically fit to return to his duties, and have lost his wife and daughter in the last few months, I hope you will grant him this extension of leave.

(J.E. Armstrong to militia minister, 18 Jan 1917)

Henry Linton Milligan succeeded Lieutenant Colonel Ernest S. Wigle as commander of the 18th Battalion on 8 July 1916. A native of Scotland, he was born on 8 April 1872. A member of the 26th Regiment, he joined the 18th at the rank of major in October 1914. He remained in command until just after the battle of the Somme.

On 13 September 1916, his wife Effie died in London, Ontario following an operation. Milligan was slightly wounded a few days later and requested leave to Canada where he could care for his family. Major G. F. Morrison of the 19th Battalion replaced him on 9 October 1916

Milligan commanded a battalion in the short-lived Canadian Defence Force until its demobilization in August 1917. He was later acting commanding officer of the 1st Depot Battalion, Western Ontario Regiment. He received the Distinguished Service Order in June 1918.

During the 1930s, Milligan was active in the 18th Battalion veterans’ association and attended annual reunions with fellow colonels E. S. Wigle and L. E. Jones.

Milligan died in London, Ontario on 1 July 1941.

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