John Wilkinson

JOHN WILKINSON (1895 - 1918)

John was one of Ruben and Ellen Wilkinson's six children. The family lived at 5, Lower Bank Street, Macclesfield and, like many of the families living in the surrounding streets, relied on the local mills for work. Both of John's parents are described in the 1911 Census as being 'fustian cutters'; a job which involved using a long thin knife to cut fustian - a thick, twilled, cotton cloth - as it was pulled through and stretched between rollers. John, along with his older brothers, Thomas and George, also worked in the textile industry; John was a 'quill winder', Thomas worked as a 'silk hand' and George was a 'rag gatherer' who cleared rags from mill machinery. At home, John had two younger brothers and two younger sisters.

John enlisted in his home town. Originally a member of the Cheshire Regiment, John became a Private in the newly formed 6th Battalion of the King's Shropshire Light Infantry. The 6th (Service) Battalion was formed in Shrewsbury, as part of Kitchener's Second New Army, and posted under the command of the 60th Brigade of the 20th (Light) Division. Following training on Salisbury Plain, Romsey and then Aldershot, John's Battalion landed at Boulogne on 20th May 1915; eleven days later, the Battalion came under fire at Ypres. John served on the Western Front, engaging in some of the ferocious battles of the war, including fighting at Loos, around Ypres and on the Somme. During fighting at the Somme crossing, John was killed in action, on Sunday 24 March 1918, aged twenty three.

John has no known gravesite. He is commemorated on a panel within the Pozieres Memorial, north-east of the town of Albert in France.



 Guillemont Memorial
Memorial to the 20th (Light) Division at Guillemont, on the Somme © www.1914-1918.net

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StAlban's WWII war dead