La Ferte-sous-Jouarre V-Z

Officers, N.C.O.s & Men of the 1st Battalion, Commemorated on the La Ferte-sous-Jouarre Memorial

Surnames: V to Z:

La Ferte-sous-Jouarre Memorial commemorates 1 Officer and 45 NCOs and men from the Original 1st Battalion, Cheshire Regiment, all of whom were killed in August and September 1914 and originally buried on the battlefields.

As the War progress over the same ground the identities of those buried were lost and their graves are now “Known Unto God“.

Cheshire names on the Ferte-sous-Jouarre Memorial

The La Ferte-sous-Jouarre Memorial commemorates 3838 officers and men of the British Expeditionary Force who died in August, September and the early part of October 1914 and who have no known grave.  

[Unfortunately Cheshire Regiment names were badly weathered at the time of the last visit.]

 

Lt. Frost’s name on the Memorial

40 of the 1st Battalion commemorated here fell at Audregnies on 24th August 1914. This includes Lieutenant Kingdon Tregosse FROST (left) whose body was subsequently identified as being buried at Wiheries Communal Cemetery.

Of the remaining 5, one fell at Le Cateau and four on the Aisne.

about  La Ferte-sous-Jouarre Memorial and other information

All of the men commemorated on La Ferte-sous-Jouarre Memorial, were with the original 1st Battalion who sailed for France on 14th August 1914.

Read more about .. about those with surnames V to Z by CLICKING the names below.

 

  ….. the men of the original 1st Battalion – Surnames: A to C

  ….. the men of the original 1st Battalion – Surnames: D to G

  ….. the men of the original 1st Battalion – Surnames: H to I

  ….. the men of the original 1st Battalion – Surnames: J to M

  ….. the men of the original 1st Battalion – Surnames: N to U

 

Private 6360 Arthur William Joseph WALDEN – ‘C’ Company

Panel: 13    Killed in Action:  24 August 1914      Age: 28

Personal: Arthur was born on 2nd September 1885 at Hasauli, Punjab, India, the son of (Sergeant) Joseph and Anne (née Burke) Walden [see Footnote below]. He had 4 older siblings, twins Josephine and Millicent, Ettie Annie (died in 1881 in her 1st year) and Sidney Stuart [see Footnote below], and a younger brother, Harold Adrian Walden [see Footnote below].

The 1891 Census (RG 12/3229) shows 5 year old Arthur enumerated with his father, Joseph (Sgt. Instructor, Musketry, Infantry) and siblings at the District Barracks, Regent Road, Salford, Lancashire. His mother, Anne, was lodging with her brother William Burke and family at 62 Lavan Street, Everton, Lancashire. [In 1901 (Census RG 13/3734) she was living along at 91 Woodbine Street, Salford, and working as a ‘Midwife‘.]

When he enlisted aged 14½ in 1900 Arthur stood just 4 ft 8¾ ins. [1.42 m.] tall and weighed 5 st. 11 lbs. [36.7 kgs.].

On 2nd September 1907 Arthur married Amelia Hemmings at St Editha Church, Tamworth, Staffordshire, and they had four children, Millicent Annie (born 1st December 1907), Lilian Elsie (b. 16th November 1908), Fanny (b. 18th April 1911) and Joseph Harold (b. 14th August 1913).

The 1911 Census of Ireland shows Sergeant Walden, his wife and family, living at 2 Regent Street Court, Antrim, Ireland.

The “Register of Soldiers’ Effects” shows that in January 1916 £2 9s 7d [£2.48 – equivalent in value to about £170 today – 2020] was returned to Arthur’s widow, Amelia. In July 1919 she also received a War Gratuity of £5 [about £225 today].

With effect from 25th April 1915 Amelia was also awarded a Pension of £1 3s 6d per week for herself and their four children. [i.e. £1.17 – equivalent to about £95 per week today]

A letter from Arthur’s wife Amelia in his surviving ‘burnt records’ reads: ‘He went out to France a Sergeant and fell a Sergeant ‘; a very sad plea possibly for increased pension as he had reverted to Private to escape a Court Martial due on 27th July 1914 (reason not yet known).

In the September quarter 1918 Amelia remarried Sydney Jabez Harrison and moved to live at Hopwas Hill, nr. Tamworth, Staffordshire, near to where she had been born. Amelia died in 1962, aged 76.

Pt. Walden’s name on the Memorial

Military Service: Arthur enlisted in the Cheshire Regiment, at Manchester, on 2nd March 1900, aged 14 years 6 months. His terms of service were 12 years ‘Active’ Service only, i.e. with no ensuing Reserve period.

He served as a “Musician” and assessed as “Piccolo and flute player. Steady and sober. Honest” in August 1913 and July 1914. At the time of this first assessment his Rank was clearly stated as “Sargeant“.

However, Arthur was “Severely reprimanded” on 18th February 1913, by Major D.C. Boger, for “Neglect of Duty whilst Company Orderly Sergeant“, so maybe lost his rank at that time. Nevertheless, during the early years of his Army career he earned two Good Conduct Medals (left), in 1903 and 1906.

Arthur must also have extended his Service beyond the initial 12 years as he was a Regular Soldier at the outbreak of War Arthur was stationed with the 1st Battalion in Londonderry. On 14th August 1914 he sailed from Belfast on the SS Massilia for Le Havre, arriving 2 days later.

Arthur arrived in France on 16th August, confirmed by his Medal Index Card. As a member of ‘C’ Company, he  saw action at Audregnies on the 24th August, on the right of the line under Captain W.E.L.R. Dugmore.

Arthur was one of 12 men from his Company killed in action that day and has no known grave. [It is, of course, possible that he is one of the men of the Battalion buried in Audregnies Cemetery.]

 

Arthur’s Father, Sgt. Joseph Harry Walden, enlisted in the Cheshire Regiment at Crewkerne on 3rd April 1871, aged 18.

He spent many years serving in India where he married Anne Burke at the Roman Catholic Chapel in Shahjahanpur on 5th February 1878.

Joseph also served in the Imperial Yeomanry (Sergeant 12752) during the Boer War and was invalided out due to receiving serious injuries.

After the death of son Arthur in 1914, at the age of 61 years Joseph Henry enlisted and served for 2 years as a Sergeant in the 7th (Volunteer) Battalion, Manchester Regiment from 15th October 1915 -12th June 1917 and only gave up when he became sick.

He died on 30th November 1926 and was buried in the Southern Cemetery, Manchester on 3rd December.

Arthur’s older brother, Sergeant 5900 Sidney Stuart Walden, served in the 2nd Battalion, Cheshire Regiment.

The 1911 Census shows him serving with the Battalion in Jubbulpore, India. He returned with the Battalion after the outbreak of War and was posted to France on 15th January 1915. Later that year he transferred to, No. 148750 Royal Flying Corps.

Arthur’s younger brother, Captain Harold Adrian Walden, served in the West Yorkshire Regiment in WW1.

Harold was a footballer, a centre forward who began his career with Cliftonville and Linfield in Ireland, before joining Halifax Town in October 1911 and Bradford City two months later. He was the League’s top scorer in Season 1911-12.

He was an Olympic Gold Medallist which he won playing for the British soccer team at the 1912 Games in Stockholm (pictured left). He scored 11 goals in 3 matches in the tournament and holds the record of being the ‘Highest British goal scorer within the Olympics

Harold later became a variety performer touring England, Australia, China and India. He made his stage debut while still playing football, in 1919. He had also had a minor film career, which included starring in ‘The Winning Goal’, one of the earliest football-related films, in 1920. Walden also played himself in the 1948 film ‘Cup-tie Honeymoon. He made 78 rpm records such as “Ronnie the Robin” on the Imperial label, ‘Mother I’m a soldier‘ and ‘Only me knows why‘ on Parlophone.

Harold died of a heart attack on 2nd December 1955 at Leeds Station, returning from a charity event.

…. the life of Harold, “A forgotten man of many talents[CLICK button]

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Private 7768 Albert Stephen WALKER (A.R.) –      ‘B’ Company

Panel: 13    Killed in Action:  24 August 1914      Age: 28

Personal: Albert was born on 8th November 1887 at Wistaston, nr. Crewe, Cheshire, the son of George (General Labourer) and Harriett (née Capper) Walker. He had 4 older siblings, Frederick, Anne, Thomas Henry and Lucy

In 1891 (Census RG 12/2854) the family were lodging at Richmond House, Wistaston, Cheshire. On 10th February 1908 Albert started work as a ‘Labourer‘ at the London and North Western Railway Company.

In the June quarter 1910 Albert married Sarah Astles, at Nantwich, Cheshire, they had four children, Albert (born 9th September 1910) Frederick Arthur, (born 22nd September 1911), Annie (born 14th November 1912) and George (b. 26th December 1913). In 1911 (Census RG 14/21764) Albert, Sarah and Albert, Jnr. were living at 4 Gladstone Street, Willaston, nr. Nantwich, Cheshire. Albert was still working for the Railways.

The “Register of Soldiers’ Effects” shows that in August 1916 £9 2s 5d [£9.12 – equivalent in value to about £625 today – 2020] was returned to Albert’s widow, Sarah. In September 1919 she also received a War Gratuity of £5 [about £225 today].

With effect from 12th June 1916 Sarah was awarded a Pension of £1 2s 6d per week for herself and her four children. (i.e. £1.12 is equivalent to about £75 per week today.)

In the March quarter 1919 Sarah re-married Richard W. Smith and they lived at Growths Row, Pall Mall, Nantwich, Cheshire. After Richard’s death in 1927 she married again to Samuel Hesketh, in 1935. Sarah died on 21st May 1970, in Nantwich.

Pt. Walker’s name on the Memorial

Military Service: Albert enlisted in the Cheshire Regiment, at Crewe, Cheshire. His Service Papers are not available but by comparing his Service Number (7768) with others in the Battalion, the most likely time for his Attestation would be mid-1904, probably on a 3 + 9 engagement (i.e. 3 years ‘Active’ service followed by 9 years ‘Reserve’).

A 3 year ‘Active’ engagement with the 2nd Battalion would tie in with Albert’s marriage date, as it would entail a period of service in India.

As a Reservist, Albert was recalled at the outbreak of War, on 5th August 1914 and joined the 1st Battalion in Londonderry.

He sailed from Belfast with the Battalion, entering France on 16th August, confirmed by his Medal Index Card. As a member of ‘B’ Company he saw action at Audregnies on the 24th August, in the centre of the action under Captain J.L. Shore.

Albert was originally reported ‘Missing‘ until: “Death Presumed 24-8-14“. After just 9 days in France, Albert was one of 14 men from his Company killed in action during the Battle at Audregnies and now has no known grave.

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Private 7835 Sam(uel) WHITELEY (A.R.) –                 ‘D’ Company

Panel: 13    Killed in Action:  24 August 1914      Age: 32

Personal: Sam was born on 26th October 1881 at Priest Lane, Mottram, Cheshire, the son of Samuel (Maker-up, Cotton Industry) and Emma (née Shaw) Whiteley. He had 4 older siblings, James, Sarah Jane, Frederick and William, and five younger, Ernest, Arthur, Eveline, Gordon and May.

In 1891 (Census RG 12/2807) the family were living at 40 Commercial Street, Hazel Grove, Cheshire. Ten years later (1901 Census RG 13/3684)the growing family had moved to 17 Shepley Street, Longsight, Manchester, but Sam had left home and has not been found on that Census.

The 1911 Census (RG 14/21361) shows a widowed Sam as a serving “Soldier” back living at his parents’ home, now 22 Kinder Street, Stockport, with his younger siblings, Eveline, Gordon and May. It is apparent, therefore, that Sam had been married and, from the evidence, below, also had (a) child(ren) from that marriage. The names of this earlier family have not, as yet, been traced.

In the March quarter 1912, in Stockport, Sam married Eva Hildegarde Edwards (picture right) and they had two children, Constance (born 24th July 1911) and Eva (born 15th November 1913).

The “Register of Soldiers’ Effects” shows that in March 1916 £2 16s 9d [£2.81 – equivalent in value to about £195 today – 2020] was returned to Sam’s widow, Eva Hilda.

In August 1919 a War Gratuity of £5 [about £225 today] was shared: £2 15s 6d [£2.77] to Eva and her children; £1 2s 3d [£1.11] to “Mrs Elizabeth Atherton“; 16s 2d [81p] , and £1 2s 3d [£1.11] “Retained for son by 1st marriage – address unknown“.

With effect from 24th April 1915 Eva was awarded a Pension of 18s 6d per week for herself and her two children. (i.e. £0.92 is equivalent to about £75 per week today.) At the time they were living at 55 Parkfield Street, Whitworth, Manchester. [N.B. Elizabeth Atherton is named on the Pension form as “Guardian“.]

Pt. Whiteley’s name on the Memorial

Military Service: Sam enlisted in the Cheshire Regiment, at Stockport, Cheshire. His Service Papers are not available but by comparing his Service Number (7835) with others in the Battalion, the most likely time for his Attestation would be mid-1904, probably on a 3 + 9 engagement (i.e. 3 years ‘Active’ service followed by 9 years ‘Reserve’).

If he was posted to the 2nd Battalion he would have served in India, returning to the Reserve in 1907.

However, as the 1911 Census above (RG 14/21361) shows Sam was describing himself as a “Soldier“, so could have been serving a 7 + 5 years term of engagement with the 1st Battalion. Nevertheless, he had been returned to the Auxiliary Reserve before the outbreak of the Great War.

As a Reservist, on 5th August 1914, he was recalled at the outbreak of War, and sailed from Belfast with the 1st Battalion, entering France on 16th August, confirmed by his Medal Index Card. As a member of ‘D’ Company, Sam saw action at Audregnies on the 24th August, on the right flank under Captain E.R. Jones or Captain W.S. Rich.

At the end of the day Sam was one of 20 men from his Company killed in action and has no known grave. [It is, of course, possible that he is one of the men of the Battalion buried in Audregnies Cemetery, “Known Unto God“.]

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Lance Corporal 8097 John WHITLOW (A.R.) –        ‘D’ Company

Panel: 13    Killed in Action:  15 September 1914      Age: 28

Personal: John was born in the December quarter 1885 at Runcorn, Cheshire. He was the son of Peter (Wheelwright) and Sarah (née Knowles ?) Whitlow who were living at 30 Byron Street, Runcorn, Cheshire, in 1891 (Census RG 12/2833). John had 3 older brothers, Joseph, George and William, and a younger sister, Kate, and a younger brother, Arthur.

In 1901 (Census RG 13/3336) the family had moved to 2 Byron Street, and John was working as a “Grocer’s Shop Assistant“. By the 1911 Census John was a serving soldier, stationed with the 2nd Battalion in Jubbulpore, India.

The “Register of Soldiers’ Effects” shows that in March 1915 £6 12s 0d [£6.60 – equivalent in value to about £540 today – 2020] was returned to John’s father, Peter. In June 1919 he also received a War Gratuity of £5 [about £225 today].

With effect from 25th February 1919 Peter was awarded a Pension of 12s 6d per week. (i.e. £0.625 is equivalent to about £30 per week today.) At that time the family home was 9 Arthur Street, Runcorn.

L/Cpl Whitlow’s name on the Memorial

Military Service: John enlisted in the 2nd Battalion, Cheshire Regiment, at Runcorn, Cheshire, on 4th January 1906.

As he was still serving (L/Cpl. in Capt, F.H Mahony’s Company) at the time of the 1911 Census, and stationed in Jubbulpore, India, he must have enlisted on a 7 + 5 term (i.e. 7 years on ‘Active’ Service plus 5 on Reserve. He would, therefore have returned home and entered the Reserve List in early 1912.

As a Reservist, on 5th August 1914, John was recalled at the outbreak of War, and sailed from Belfast with the 1st Battalion, as his 2nd Battalion was still in India. He entered France on 16th August, confirmed by his Medal Index Card. As a member of ‘D’ Company, John saw action at Audregnies on the 24th August, on the right flank under Captain E.R. Jones or Captain W.S. Rich. John was one of the 199 men who answered Roll Call at the end of the Battle.

The “Retreat from Mons” continued for almost 200 miles (c. 320 kms.) until finally on Saturday evening, 5th September came the order: “Pile arms and fall out, we remain here for a few hours.

With these simple words, delivered in a small orchard on the outskirts of Tournant, a mere 18 kms (11.2 miles) from the centre of Paris, the Retreat from Mons was ended. The northward push commenced across the River Marne involved three strongly disputed river crossings, at the Grand Morin, the Petit Morin and the Marne itself.

The 1st Battalion was not involved in any of the battles to cross these valleys and the Battalion actually crossed the Marne at Saâcy before marching on to Bézu-le-Guéry. The following day the march north continued at great pace with some early starts, but from Bézu to the River Aisne was another 50 miles (80 kms.) covered in just 4 days, from 10th – 13th September. (On the 10th, for example, they set off at 3.45 a.m. and did not arrive at camp at Louvry near St Quentin until 7.00 p.m. The the “Officers bivouacked in the deserted and burnt out kennels“. One wonders where the ‘men‘ slept!

Aisne Positions

The Cheshires cross the River Aisne (CLICK picture for full Map)

At 1.00 a.m. on the morning of the 14th September William’s Battalion crossed the River Aisne at Min des Roche in rafts made from wagons wrapped in tarpaulin sheets.

At 6.00 a.m. the following morning the Norfolks and Bedfords reinforced the Battalion in Missy and an attack was ordered on Chivres Hill after the guns had shelled the lower slopes.

Before this could take place Missy was shelled by the very heavy artillery brought up for the siege of Paris. 

The Battalion held on to all the defences of Missy till 6.00 p.m. when the Norfolks took over the Western half.  There was a continuous fire coming into the village from the woods on Chevres Hill all day and three men were killed.

[N.B. In addition to John the other casualties were:  Pt. 9991 William James Smith (‘B’ Coy.), and Pt. 7225 William McDean (‘B’ Coy.). Also commemorated on the La Ferte-Sous-Jouarre Memorial.]

  The Battle of The Aisne

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Private 7257 Sam(uel) WHITTAKER (A.R.) –             ‘D’ Company

Panel: 13    Killed in Action:  24 August 1914      Age: 32

Personal: According to his Attestation Papers, Sam was born in about March 1882 at Lostock, Northwich, Cheshire. However, it seems, from other sources, that he was born in the March quarter 1880. (i.e. baptised in St John’s Church, Lostock Gralam, Northwich, on 28th March, and only his mother, Elizabeth is named on the Baptismal Record).

Sam’s Service Papers also show no name for his father and his mother was named “Elizabeth Whittaker“, living at the home of “Henry Eyres” (her brother-in-law). The same source shows he had no siblings.

However, the 1891 Census (RG 12/2838) shows Sam, the ‘nephewof Henry Eyres (Labourer in Bone Works), living with the Eyres family at Old Lane, Lostock Gralam, Northwich. The same source shows a niece “Annie Whittaker“, aged 16, and presumably 11 year old Sam’s sister. Neither Sam, nor Annie, were living with the Eyres in 1901.

When he enlisted in the Cheshire Regiment in October 1903 Sam gave his age as 21 years 7 months. He stood 5 ft. 4½ ins [1.64 m.] tall, weighed 8 st. 11 lbs. [55.8 kgs.], had a ‘dark‘ complexion, brown eyes and black hair. His stated occupation was “Farmhand“.

By the 1911 Census Sam was still a serving soldier, stationed with the 2nd Battalion in Jubbulpore, India.

The “Register of Soldiers’ Effects” shows that in April 1916 £5 5s 7d [£5.27 – equivalent in value to about £370 today – 2020] was returned to Sam’s uncle, Henry Eyres (possibly his mother’s brother). In August 1919 he also received a War Gratuity of £5 [about £225 today]. At the time Henry was living at 2 Old Lane, Lostock, Northwich, but the whereabouts of Elizabeth, Sam’s mother, is not known, although it is possible she died in the September quarter 1923, aged 64.

Pt. Whittaker’s name on the Memorial

Military Service: Sam attested in the Cheshire Regiment, at Knutsford, Cheshire, on 20th October 1903 on a 3 + 9 term (i.e. 3 years on ‘Active’ Service plus 9 on Reserve. This was extended on 4th February 1905 and he remained with the Regiment up to 1911.

Sam was posted to the 2nd Battalion on 4th December 1903 and on 19th November 1904 Sam was transferred to the 1st Battalion, before returning to the 2nd on 28th February 1905, at which point he was posted to join the Battalion in Secunderabad, India.

Sam passed his “First Aid Duties” Certificate on 12th September 1910 and was also awarded 2 Godd Conduct Badges. He was still serving (Private in Capt, F.H Mahony’s Company) at the time of the 1911 Census, and stationed in Jubbulpore, India, and returned home and entered the Reserve List (Section B) on 2nd December 1911, having completed 7 years ‘Active’ Service.

As a Reservist, on 5th August 1914, Sam was recalled at the outbreak of War, and sailed from Belfast with the 1st Battalion, entering France on 16th August, confirmed by his Medal Index Card. As a member of ‘D’ Company, Sam saw action at Audregnies on the 24th August, on the right flank under Captain E.R. Jones or Captain W.S. Rich.

Sam was initially reported ‘Missing from Bn. in the field‘. Over the course of the next year family and friends enquired of the War Office as to his whereabouts and enquiries were made to see if he was a prisoner of war. Finally, on 2nd December 1915, he was ‘Pres. dead 24-8-14‘, and became one of 20 men from his Company killed in action and has no known grave. In total he served 10 years 309 days with the Colours.

N.B. Most strangely the photo of Sam above was attached inside his Service Papers and seems to be an extract from a local paper detailing the search that was going on for his whereabouts.

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Private 10135 George WIGLEY – Company n/k

Panel: 13    Killed in Action:  25 September 1914      Age: 18

Personal: George was born about November 1895 (Baptised 19th November in Holy Trinity Church, Hurdsfield, Cheshire)  He was the son of Edward (Clogger) and Emily (née Latchford) Wigley and had an older sister, Emily, and 4 younger siblings, Edward, Alfred, Elizabeth Anne and Zaccheus. 

In 1901 (Census RG 13/3310) the family was living at 36 Waterloo Street, Macclesfield, Cheshire. George’s father died in 1909 in 1911 (Census RG 14/16476) George, his widowed mother and sister Emily had moved to 20 Plex Street, Tunstall, Stoke On Trent. George was employed as a “Flat Pressers Assistant“.

The “Register of Soldiers’ Effects” shows that in May 1919 £14 16s 0d [£14.80 – equivalent in value to about £690 today – 2020] was returned to George’s sister, Emily. In December 1919 a War Gratuity of £5 [about £233 today] was divided between Emily and brother, Alfred. [Emily received £4 5s 9d (£4.29 – £200 today) and Alfred 14s 3d (£0.71 – £33 today).]

With effect from 6th November 1918 George’s mother, Emily, received a Pension of 5 shillings per week. (i.e. £0.25 – about £15 per week today)

Pt. Wigley’s name on the Memorial

Military Service: George attested in the Cheshire Regiment, at Macclesfield, Cheshire. His Service Records are unavailable, but comparing his Service Number (10135) to others (e.g. Pte. 10112 John William Connolly) it would seem George enlisted in July 1913.

George’s period of service would have been 7 + 5, i.e. 7 years on ‘Active’ service, followed by 5 years on ‘Reserve’.

His Medal Index Card shows that at the outbreak of War William  entered France on 16th August 1914. George was killed in action on 24th August 1914 during the Battalion’s stand at Audregnies. Unfortunately, his name did not appear on the published Battalion List, so it is not known in which part of the action he was located. George was one of the 199 men who answered Roll Call at the end of the Battle.

The “Retreat from Mons” continued for almost 200 miles (c. 320 kms.) until finally on Saturday evening, 5th September came the order: “Pile arms and fall out, we remain here for a few hours.

With these simple words, delivered in a small orchard on the outskirts of Tournant, a mere 18 kms (11.2 miles) from the centre of Paris, the Retreat from Mons was ended. The northward push commenced across the River Marne involved three strongly disputed river crossings, at the Grand Morin, the Petit Morin and the Marne itself.

Having taken part in a minor role in the Battle of the Aisne, the Battalion continued northward, arriving at Le Mesnil on 18th September. The War Diary records that the various Companies spent their time digging defensive trenches in Le Mesnil, Serches and Sermoise, all villages about 5 kms (3 miles) south of the river, no doubt in expectation of a counter-attack.

The German Corps facing 4th Division on the other side of the river had force marched men to fill gaps ahead of the British and were mounting a stout resistance. The British were unable to get their artillery across the river and any casualties – of which there were many – had to be carried up to 3 miles back to the pontoon, under heavy fire.

Crossing the Aisne

Crossing the Aisne

At 6.30 on the evening of September 25th the Companies in the trenches were relieved by the Suffolk Regiment and the Battalion marched out and again crossed the Aisne bivouacking on the North Bank as Battalion in reserve to 15th Infantry Brigade.

The War Diary does not record any casualties on the 25th, and it is possible that George died of wounds from an earlier action. However, George’s grave, if he had one, has since been lost.

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Private 7462 Jeremiah WILKINSON (A.R.) –              ‘B’ Company 

Panel: 13    Killed in Action:  24 August 1914      Age: 26

Personal: Jeremiah was born on 18th August 1885 at Sandbach, Cheshire. He was the son of Albert (Brickmaker) and Matilda Wilkinson. He had an older brother, Frederick [see Footnote below] and a younger sister, Edith. In 1891 (Census RG 12/2849) the family was living at 8 Groby (?) Road, Coppenhall Church, Cheshire.

In 1901 (Census RG 13/3354) Jeremiah was lodging with the William Emberton, a Farmer,  at ‘The Kennels, Doddington, Cheshire, where he was working as a “Pig Feeder“. By 1911 (Census RG 14/34980) he was enumerated with the 2nd Battalion, Cheshire Regiment, in Secunderabad, India.

When he enlisted, aged 18 years 7 months, in March 1904, Jeremiah gave his occupation as “Farm Labourer“. He stood 5 ft. 3¼ ins. [1.61 m.] tall, weighed 7 st. 8 lbs. [48.1 kgs.] and had a ‘fresh‘ complexion, blue eyes and brown hair.

The “Register of Soldiers’ Effects” shows that in January 1917 £5 9s 10d [£5.49 – equivalent in value to about £310 today – 2020] was shared equally between Jeremiah’s brother, Frederick, and sister, Emily, “on the understanding the money be refunded in the event that any relation of the deceased with a prior claim appearing and claiming same“. In August 1919 a War Gratuity of £5 [about £225 today] was paid to his sister, Emily (now Mrs Jackson).

Pt. Wilkinson’s name on the Memorial

Military Service: Jeremiah attested in the Cheshire Regiment, at Crewe, Cheshire, on 19th March 1904, stating his age as 18 years 7 months. His period of service was 3 + 9, i.e. 3 years on ‘Active’ service, followed by 9 years on ‘Reserve’.

Jeremiah was posted to the 1st Battalion on 12th November 1904. At the end of his 3 years Active Service he extended “.. for such period as shall complete 8 years with the Colours“.

As a result on 16th December 1905 he was posted to the 2nd Battalion, serving in Secunderabad, India, where he remained until he returned to England at the end of his Active Service and was transferred to the Reserve on 19th March 1912. During this time he earned 2 Good Conduct Badges.

As a Reservist, Jeremiah was recalled at the outbreak of War, on 5th August 1914 and joined the 1st Battalion in Londonderry. He sailed from Belfast with the Battalion, entering France on 16th August, confirmed by his Medal Index Card. As a member of ‘B’ Company he saw action at Audregnies on the 24th August, in the centre of the action under Captain J.L. Shore.

At the end of that day Jeremiah was reported as “Missing from Bn. in the Field – 24-8-14” but later his death was presumed to have been on that date, becoming one of 14 men from his Company killed in action and has no known grave. In total he had served 10 years 159 days with the Colours.

Jeremiah’s older brother, Private 20464 Frederick Wilkinson, served in the Army Service Corps. He enlisted at Crewe on 26th January 1903 but was discharged on 28th November 1904.

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Private 10169 James Albert WILLIAMSON –              ‘D’ Company 

Panel: 13    Killed in Action:  24 August 1914      Age: 20

Personal: James was born on 17th February 1894 at Audenshaw, Lancashire. He was the oldest son of Alfred Edward (Carter – Coal) and Mary Ann (née Pickering) Williamson, and had 7 brothers and sisters, Ernest, Alfred Edward, Arthur, Hannah, John, Hiram (died as a baby in 1910) and Ellen.

In 1901 (Census RG 13/3787) the family was living at 172 Guide Lane, Audenshaw. Ten years later (1911 Census RG 14/) the family had moved to 18 Howard Street, Audenshaw, and 17 years old James was working as a “Lorry Driver Coal Miner“.

The “Register of Soldiers’ Effects” shows that in March 1916 £4 2s 10d [£4.14 – equivalent in value to about £285 today – 2020] was paid to James’ mother, Mary Ann, “At request of Decd. Fa.[ther]”. In July 1919 she also received a War Gratuity of £5 [about £225 today].

With effect from 7th March 1919 Mary Ann was also awarded a Pension of 5 shillings per week. (i.e. £0.25 – about £15 per week today) At that time she was living at 18 Dale Street, Hooley Hill, Manchester.

Pt. Williamson’s name on the Memorial

Military Service: James attested in the 1st Battalion, Cheshire Regiment, at Hyde, Cheshire. His Service Records are unavailable, but comparing his Service Number (10169) to others (e.g. Pte. 10167 Stephen Jones) it would seem James enlisted in August 1913.

James’ period of service would have been 7 + 5, i.e. 7 years on ‘Active’ service, followed by 5 years on ‘Reserve’. He would have been posted to the Battalion in Ireland after initial training.

He sailed from Belfast with the Battalion, entering France on 16th August, confirmed by his Medal Index Card. As a member of ‘B’ Company James saw action at Audregnies on the 24th August, in the centre of the action under Captain J.L. Shore.

After just 9 days in France, James was one of 14 men from his Company killed in action during the Battle at Audregnies and now has no known grave.

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