Manitoba Historical Society
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Memorable Manitobans: John Dingwall Sinclair (1874-1947)

Lumberman, soldier.

Born at London, Ontario on 24 May 1874, son of Duncan Sinclair and Sarah Jane Doyle, he came to Winnipeg with his family in 1882 and was educated at local public schools. He was associated with D. E. Sprague and the Sprague Lumber Company for twenty-seven years. From 1894 to 1900, he served as private, corporal and sergeant in the 90th Winnipeg Rifles. He was commissioned as a lieutenant in the 79th Cameron Highlanders of Canada on its organization in 1912. He was promoted to captain in 1913; to major in September 1915; assisted unofficially in organization of the Cameron overseas units from August 1914 to February 1915. Major in 79th Cameron Highlanders of Canada overseas detachment and 179th overseas Battalion Cameron Highlanders of Canada from July 15 to September 1916, at Winnipeg and Camp Hughes. Proceeded overseas with 179th Battalion, C.H. of C., as major, 27 September 1916, Sandling and Dibgate Camps, until December 1917. Promoted to Lieutenant-Colonel and succeeded to the command of the Cameron, 1 December 1922. Member of the examining board of the Royal School of Instruction for Officers and N.C.O.’s from September 1915 to September 1916. In March 1918, he was made Manager of the Union Lumber Company.

On 26 January 1898, he married Mary Craig Litster. They had a son and two daughters. He was a member and Past Chief of the Clan Stewart, Order of the Scottish Clans. He was a member of the St. Andrew’s Society (Vice-President, 1916; resigned to go overseas; Vice-President in 1923), and the United Service Club.

He died at Edmonton, Alberta while visiting his son on 1 June 1947.


Pioneers and Prominent People of Manitoba, Winnipeg: Canadian Publicity Company, 1925.

“J. D. Sinclair, lumberman, dies, aged 73,” Winnipeg Free Press, 3 June 1947.

This page was prepared by Gordon Goldsborough.

Page revised: 10 July 2016

Memorable Manitobans

Memorable Manitobans

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