Lt. Col. Wilkin

Lieutenant Colonel F.A. Wilkin, M.C.
1st Motor Machine Gun Brigade

Has headaches – nearly constant and at times severe. States that his memory and thinking and reasoning power become very poor after he has been at work a few hours. Insomnia.

 (Medical Board Report of Lt Col. Wilkin, 28 Sept 1918)

Born in Yokohama, Japan on 8 July 1872, Francis Alfred Wilkin was an Alberta land surveyor and member of the Corps of Guides. He joined the Canadian Motor Machine Gun Brigade in January 1915 as a lieutenant and succeeded Lieutenant Colonel Raymond Brutinel as commanding officer in October 1916. Worn down after long service, he was replaced in March 1918 by Major William Keating Walker.

After thirty-nine months in France, Wilkin was diagnosed with neurasthenia in September 1918:

Has noticed that his memory has become much poorer. He states that after he has been at work a few hours his memory becomes very bad. Tires easily- states that after he has been at work for five hours he feels mentally and physically exhausted. This has been gradually becoming worse since April 1917. Has had insomnia.

After the war he returned to the west, working for the Canadian Pacific Railway before becoming an engineering professor at the University of British Columbia. He retired in 1940 and died ten years later on Remembrance Day.


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