Sydney WILKINSON

Poppy

WILKINSON, Sydney

Service Number: 461
Enlisted: 12 July 1915, Brisbane, Queensland
Last Rank: Corporal
Last Unit: 31st Infantry Battalion
Born: Stapen Hill, England, 1890
Home Town: Walkerston, Mackay, Queensland
Schooling: Not yet discovered
Occupation: Farmer
Died: Died of Wounds, France, 10 April 1917
Cemetery: St Sever Cemetery Extension, Rouen
Tree Plaque: Not yet discovered
Memorials: Australian War Memorial, Roll of Honour, Farleigh Mill & District Roll of Honour, Mackay Cenotaph, Walkerston Honour Board, Walkerston Pioneer War Memorial Hall Honour Roll 1914-1918
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World War 1 Service

12 Jul 1915: Enlisted AIF WW1, Private, SN 461, Brisbane, Queensland
9 Nov 1915: Involvement AIF WW1, Private, SN 461, 31st Infantry Battalion, Enlistment/Embarkation WW1
9 Nov 1915: Embarked AIF WW1, Private, SN 461, 31st Infantry Battalion, HMAT Wandilla, Melbourne
21 Mar 1917: Wounded Corporal, SN 461, 31st Infantry Battalion, German Withdrawal to Hindenburg Line and Outpost Villages, GSW (head)
10 Apr 1917: Involvement AIF WW1, Corporal, SN 461, 31st Infantry Battalion

CWGc and Army record data

Sydney WILKINSON, Corporal 461, B Coy, 31st Australian Infantry Australian Imperial Force died 10th April 1917 aged 26. Son of John and Catherine of 3, Rosliston Road, Burton on Trent.
He joined up on the 21st July 1915 aged 25, occupation was given as farmer at Home Farm, Stapenhill, Burton on Trent. his parents address. On the 16th June 1916 he embarked from Alexandria on ship, H.M.T. Hororatio on the 23rd June 1916 disembarked at Marseiles. The 19th July 1916 he was wounded in the field with gun shots wounds to his upper extremities which were severe. he was taken a casualty clearing station and on the 20th was transferred to No1, Ambulance Train and late was admitted to 32, Stationary Hospital, Wimereux,, by this time he had been hit by shrapnel to his right side. The 21st he embarked Boulogne on H.S. Cambria and was admitted to V.A.D. Rust Hall, Hospital, Tunbridge Wells on the 22nd. He was admitted on the 4th August 1916 to the Australian Concept Hospital, Woodcote Park, Epson to be discharged to No1 Company Depot Perham Down on the 4th September 1916, on the 5th he was with 8th Training Battalion and the 16th September embarked for France. The 17th he was with the Australian Divisional Base Depot at Etaples and re-joined the 31st, on the 29th September 1916. The 4th November 1916 he suffered from his 2nd case of Shell Shock, and was admitted on the 5th, to 6th Australian Field Ambulance with the effects from a Gas Shell and was transferred to 36th Casualty Clearing Station. On the 8th November he was fit and was discharged to duty in the field, rejoining his unit on the 9th.
1st January 1917 was promoted to corporal in the field
10th February 1917 admitted to the 5th Division Rest Station, with Bronchitis and discharged to duty on the 19th February.
15th March 1917 Wounded in action, 3rd occasion admitted to 1/1 South Midland Casualty Clearing Station with injury to skull.
He was transferred on the 21st March 1917 to Ambulance Train and later admitted to No11 Stationary Hospital, Rouen with gun shot to the head
4th April 1917 at No11 Stationary Hospital, Rouen and entry states GSW to head, fractures with depression, dangerously ill
14th April 1917 another entry GSW to head, with fractured cranium with depression.
Last entry from the hospital. Died on wounds at 0330hrs on the 10thth April 1917
19th September 1917 he was laid to rest at St Sever Cemetery Commemorated on a family memorial in Stapenhill Cemetery, Burton on Trent, Staffordshire and is buried in St Sever,Cemetery Extension, Rouen, France

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Biography contributed by Faithe Jones

Mr. John Wilkinson, Farleigh, has received the following letters concerning his brother, Corporal Syd. Wilkinson, who died as a result of wounds received while fighting in France : — Lieut. Corrie writes : "I regret that I never had the pleasure of meeting and knowing your brother, for, to quote some of our rough country lads, and they are keen judges of men, he was a "dinkum" soldier — and that stands for everything with our boys and means that he made good. By a curious coincidence Lieut. Dellot has just come back to the base after being away five weeks. He tells me that he was with your brother, in fact standing "right alongside ' of him, up in the front line, when he was hit by a machine gun bullet. He dropped at once, saying, "Oh dear!" This was about 2 o'clock in the afternoon.
Lieut. Dellet arranged to have him taken to the dressing station, which was about 300 yards away. The bombardment, Lieut. Dellit says, was the worst he had ever been in. He says that Cpl. Wilkinson was a splendid fellow in the line and always full of courage and grit and ready to help all and sundry. He repeated some of the above remarks and added, By jove, Corrie Wilkinson was a good chap and no mistake." My own batman, a very fine fellow by the name of Hardaker, helped to carry him along the trench. No stretcher was available, so they had to use one of the rubber ground sheets. Hardaker says it took them three hours to carry him 300 yards. You see, he was a big heavy man, and the unfortunate stretcher bearers at each step sank knee
deep in the awful mud. All the time Fritz landed shells first on one parapet and then on the other, and yet not one of them was hit though all were splashed with mud from them. Poor old Hardaker told me the cold was intense. (When volunteers were called to help your brother, he was one of a party of four in a trench who volunteered; When only a few yards on the way a shell came over and killed the three chaps he had just left. Was it not strange that he should have just got clear ? I found Will Taylor (Walkerston) alright. He is batman to Major Eckersley and was very sorry indeed to hear of your brother's death. He has already written and a!so supplied me with some details which are these : ''Corporal Wilkinson volunteered to lead a fighting patrol beyond Till trench. While on the way he was wounded in the head by a bullet which went through his steel helmet and made a nasty skull wound. It took some time to get him down to the dressing station. He was then carried on by Ptes. Hardaker, Hanlan, Sandilands and Patterson, under very heavy shell fire." Hearing that he was wounded Will Taylor went down to see him, but was too late as he had moved on. I let the men of his section and platoon know of his death on the 10th April: From their quiet set faces and from what some of them said to me afterwards I had dismissed them on parade, you may feel the very greatest pride for him, as he was greatly admired and respected by all. Besides the good opinion that the N.C.O.'s and men have of him, he is likewise held in high esteem by the officers. Yesterday Major Eckersley came in to see me and sat and yarned for nearly an hour. During the course of conversation your brother's name came up. The Major wished me to convoy his very sincere sympathy to you and yours in your great loss and to say that he know Corporal Wilkinson from the time he first joined. During the whole of that time he had never been the slightest trouble and was always an exemplary soldier. In short, the Major said, "He was all that a soldier should be."
Rev. T. Jeffrey, C.F., writes :
— I deeply regret to say that your son, Corporal Sydney Wilkinson, 461, 31st A. I. F, died here this morning at 3.30. He was suffering from a gunshot wound in the head, with depressed fracture. He did well for a time, but was paralysed to some extent on one side by his wound, yet quite sensible. He took pleasure in hearing me read the Scripture to him and one day asked for the 23rd Psalm. He will be buried with full military honours in St. Sever Cemetery.

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