Capt. Arthur David LINKLATER

Captain Arthur David LINKLATER 1879 - 1955

Working for Dhunjibhoy Bomanji (ii)

This is my son, mine own Telemachus

The last page [which I'll spare you!] consists of a sheet of figures showing what Arthur hoped would be his pension fund and which he calculated would leave him reasonably ‘comfortable.’ In essence Rs. 10,000 a year were to be invested from 1917 to 1926 inclusive which he argued would generate Rs. 129,814 capital by 1st August 1927 to be invested - or "Rs. 1,29,814" as he wrote it, so seemingly staggering were the sums involved. The bottom line was 1,29,814 at 5% = 6,491 Rs. per year = £432 per annum. Dhunjibhoy didn't buy it. The words "pension" and "War-bonds" do not occur in the 1919 agreement. However, as mentioned earlier, Dhunjibhoy did agree to pay Arthur a yearly bonus of Rs. 5000 i.e. half what Arthur asked for his pension fund plus Rs. 25,000 as a lump sum in the event of Dhunjibhoy's death. Dhunjibhoy's death would seem therefore to have been an event to be eagerly awaited but, unlike the earlier Deputy Conservator, Dhunjibhoy did not oblige in a timely fashion, but delayed the shuffling until 1937 by which time much muddy water had passed under a collapsing bridge. I detect in Arthur's insanely optimistic calculations a trait I seem to have inherited.

While the details are not clear, Arthur and Dhunjibhoy signed an agreement on 2nd August 1916 and, on and off for the next twenty odd years, Arthur was employed by Dhunjibhoy Bomanji or, to be more precise, ‘Bomanji Dhunjibhoy’, his trading name at 56, Esplanade Road, Fort, Bombay. He essentially bade farewell to ships and seafaring; from now on his means of transport was to be "a carriage and horse or a motor car" at Dhunjibhoy's discretion.

A subsequent contract [see above] was signed 31 December 1919 between Arthur David Linklater of Bombay European inhabitant of the one part and Dhunjibhoy Bomanji of Bombay Parsi inhabitant of the other part in which Dhunjibhoy is described as carrying on business in the town and Island and the port and harbour of Bombay in the name of "Bomanji Dhunjibhoy" as Shipwright contractor mid Contractor for Docking, Undocking, Shoring and Unshoring vessels; Cleaning Painting and Repairing ships; Landing and Shipping coal; and Supplying Labour and Marine and other stores to steamship companies and generally as a Stevedore naval and marine contractor in connection with shipping, steamers, and docks in the port and city of Bombay whereas Arthur is described as having served the said Dhunjibhoy Bomanji as an assistant and General Superintendent in one or more of the various kinds of businesses carried on by the said Dhunjibhoy Bomanji as aforesaid for the last upwards of three years.

Before getting into a more detailed account of Arthur's relationship with Dhunjibhoy there was a small domestic matter that needed attention and without which I would not be writing these notes. Arthur met Elsie May Harris née Soundy, in Bombay and married her there on 9 June 1917. On the marriage certificate Elsie is named as Elsie May Harris "unmarried"; but Harris was her married name. Her first husband was Jules Leonard Schaumburg by whom she had three children; Doris Ada Ethel 21 Feb 1908, Bruce Clifton 5 Sept 1909, and Dudley Palmer 21 Oct 1912. Schaumburg changed his name to Harris at the outbreak of the First World War and his children, not having attained majority, initially took the same surname. [Thereafter is another story and one fraught with challenges for would-be genealogists. E.g. when Bruce married his first wife he changed his name, at his father-in-law's insistence, to hers and was known as Bruce Clifton LeMesle. When she died and Bruce re-married he changed his name again and used his middle name as his surname and was thus known as just Bruce Clifton.] Elsie's father, Arthur Soundy, ran a business principally concerned with importing pianos I believe. (I was recently [2015] sent an image of a ‘Soundy’ upright being lovingly restored by its current Indian owner.) Elsie, or ‘Granny Links’ as she was called by everyone other than her son, was apparently able to demonstrate them to the customers. Nelson Valdemar Linklater was born on 15 August 1918 and was Arthur's and Elsie's only child and subsequently my father.

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