McClinton, William Sinclair: Lieutenant (Military Cross)

Digitized Service Record

Military Cross

Blog post about this soldier’s death.

Listed in University of Toronto’s Varsity War Supplement, July 1915:

Screen Capture of McClinton entry U of T Varsity Supplement July 1915

Military Cross Citation. London Gazette. No. 29824. 14/11/16. Page 11079

For conspicuous gallantry in action. He led a bombing attack on an enemy trench with great courage and determination. He displayed great courage and determination throughout and set a splendid example.

Military Cross Citation. London Gazette. No. 29824. 14/11/16. Page 11079

News Article of his drowning:

Dr. William s. McClinton Meets Death on Fishing Trip
Two Companions Busy in Front of Launch Fail to Notice.

William S. McClinton, Midland well known physician, sportsman and military man, met death by drowning last Friday while on a fishing trip on the Georgian Bay.

Leaving Penetang at 9.30 on Friday morning in a 24-foot launch, Dr. McClinton, with A.L. Fitzgerald and T.C. Sheppard, of Penetang, proceeded to the shoals near the Watches about 13 miles from Midland and 6 miles north-west of Giant’s Tomb. The reached the fishing grounds safely where they had some good sport. After they had their lunch the weather became heavy and they decided to turn back. Hardly had they started on their homeward trip when Dr. McClinton left his friends in the cabin to see that their catch, near the back of the boat was safe. As he did not return his companions went aft to see what was keeping him, but his cap floating some distance behind, told its own story of the disaster. The launch was turned about at once, but no human being could live more than a few minutes in the icy waters and no trace of him could be found though his companions cruised about for 45 minutes.

“On the way home I was steering the boat,” said A.L. Fitzgerald. “McClinton had just eaten his lunch and was sitting somewhere beside Sheppard, then he went back.”

“The roar of the engines and the continual splash of the wave would make it impossible to hear a call or splash of anyone falling overboard. When McClinton went back, Sheppard saw him. I didn’t see him go. There was no yell or sound. Between the time he went overboard and the time we missed him may have been five minutes. I’ve no way of telling.

“When Sheppard yelled that McClinton had gone I was stunned frozen at the wheel.”

IT was considered unsafe for launches to venture beyond the gap on Friday afternoon or night, and no provision is made for securing tugs t meet conditions of this nature, no boats were sent out until Saturday when a 36-foot launch was despatched, carrying Provincial Officer Harry Wright and others, and another boat left Penetang. The body has not yet been recovered.

Dr. W.S. McClinton, only son of Dr. and Mrs. J.B.H. McClinton, was born at Elmvale. He served with distinction in the Great War and on returning from overseas went into practice in Midland with his father. Keenly interested in sports, he excelled in various games. When a student in Toronto he was one of the best amateur boxers in Ontario. His last visit to Barrie was a few weeks ago when he acted as referee for the boxing bouts in the armouries. Some years ago he was pitcher for the Midland baseball team and was also a hockeyist. He was a member of the Midland Golf Club and was a keen hunter and fisherman. Dr. McClinton had many friends and to them his death came as a great shock.

Some years ago he married Miss Clara Crawford, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. George Crawford of Oro Station who survives him. They had no family.

Source: The Barrie Examiner. November 6, 1930. Page 1. Found by Steve Clifford via Twitter @jake_a_loo .

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