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 You must seek permission prior to publication of any of our images.


Soldiers of the Regiment

Private John Wilkinson

Private John Wilkinson attested for military service in the Territorial Force on 25th March 1912 and he joined 'F' Company of the 4th Battalion of the King's Own Royal Lancaster Regiment.  He was mobilised in August 1914 and went to the south of England with the rest of the battalion.  He died on 12th January 1915 at the age of 17 years due to meningitis.  His body was returned to Barrow in Furness and he is buried in Barrow in Furness Cemetery.

Items in the Museum's Collection:

Army Book 64 Soldierís Service and Pay Book to Private John Wilkinson, number 1599, ĎFí Company, 4th Battalion, Kingís Own Royal Lancaster Regiment. Attested for service 25 Mar 1912. Died 12 Jan 1915, age 17, 1st/4th Battalion, Kingís Own Royal Lancaster Regiment. Buried in Barrow in Furness Cemetery. Son of Mr and Mrs George Wilkinson, 21 Shakespeare, Street, Barrow in Furness.
Accession Number: KO1445/04


Aluminium Identity disk for Private John Wilkinson, number 1599, Kingís Own Royal Lancaster Regiment.
Accession Number: KO1445/05


Letter re death of John Wilkinson, Jan 1915
Army Form B 104 Ė 82
From Territorial force Record Office, Preston, 18 Jan 1915

Madam,
It is my painful duty to inform you that a report has this day been received from the War Office notifying the death of 1599, Private John Wilkinson, 4th (Imperial Service) Battalion, Kingís Own Royal Lancaster Regiment, which occurred at Sevenoaks, Kent on the 12th January 1915, and I am to express to you the sympathy and regret of the Army Council at your loss. The cause of death was ĎMeningitisí.
Officer in charge of Records.
Accession Number: KO1445/06


Letter from Paymaster, Mar 1915 to G Wilkinson re account of Late John Wilkinson
Accession Number: KO1445/07


Letter home from Camp, Private J Wilkinson
Pre-war Territorial Force camp letter

Private J Wilkinson
F Company 4th Battalion Kingís Own Royal Lancaster Regiment
Brigade Camp, Denbigh, North Wales
Dear Mother,
I am enjoying myself very much, there is only one thing I have against the place the town is very quiet. There is no picture palaces or anything. When we were coming we should have changed at Wigan, the captain did but we knew nothing about it instead we went straight to Manchester. We just managed to catch the train that was going to Rhyl by two minutes. Then we should have landed in camp at about eleven oíclock as it was we landed at seven oíclock. Let me know how they are all getting on at home. Tell Aunt Lily we donít get any tomatoes here to throw about. I donít know what to say because as yet as Alfred says there is nothing doing. So I think I will close. Love to all at home.
From your loving son
Jack.
Accession Number: KO1445/08


Letter home from Maidenhead, with 4th Bn Private J Wilkinson
Private J Wilkinson
F Coy KOR
Maidenhead Station
Maidenhead

Dear Grandmother
Just a line to let you know that I still remember you and that I hope you are in the best of health as it leaves me at present. I am writing this in a hurry as I have to take my chance as I am on outpost duty about two mile from town. I think we shall come home for a day or two before we got out foreign as I have volunteered for it. We are getting some grand weather through the day but of a night time on guard it is that cold we can hardly hold my rifle. They are treating us rotten, dry bread for breakfast sometimes but I am enjoying my self with it all. Dear Grandmother I am sorry I never saw you before I came away but I had no chance. I think this is all this time as I am just going on guard.
With the best of love to all
your loving grandson Jack.
Remember me to Uncle Harry and Charlie



Accession Number: KO1445/09


Letter home from Maidenhead, with 4th Bn Private J Wilkinson
Private J Wilkinson
F Coy KOR
Maidenhead Station
Maidenhead

Dear Mother and Father,
I received you loving letters I was just frying kippers for breakfast when I got the first. I was cook for the day. I thank you very much for the p.o. it will come in very handy for cigarettes but dear mother I donít want you to go short yourself just to send me a bit because I donít mind going short so long as you are alright at home.

Dear mother I donít think we are going to get any leave at all now because an order has just come out to say that a man can put in for four days leave if some special case is on at home, like somebody taking ill or something. I am glad you have heard from George it shows he is alright the war has a better prospect in the morning papers. I have seen Alf I met him at the club one night last week he looks alright I would like you to have the babyís photo taken on postcards and send us one I bet Dorothy will be in her glory now she has something to do to look after it. I have written to grandmother, Aunt Rosie and Aunt Celia last week but I have had no answer as yet. I hope Aunt Lily is still in the best of health and that the trade is not going down at all father will be quite used to cellar work now. We are doing guard down here three hours on and six off for ten weeks now without a relief we donít know what a full nightís sleep is and the best of it is we are not getting fed properly we are all making complaints and when we are on our six hours off we are doing parades so father will know what we are going through. I was talking to a regular today and he says we are doing more than they ever did. I have written to Bob Clark and I have had one in reply. Well mother I think I had said all this time and I will close with best love to Flo, Dot, Aunt Lilly and yourself and father.
Your loving son
Jack.
xxxxxxxxxxxx
Accession Number: KO1445/10


Letter home from Maidenhead, with 4th Bn Private J Wilkinson
Private J Wilkinson
F Company 4th Battalion Kingís Own Royal Lancaster Regiment
Maidenhead Station, Berkshire
ĎSoldiers Club Queen Street Maidenhead

Dear Mother and Father
I have received your letter just after I got one from Alf I was glad to hear he had joined the terriers. I hope he enjoys himself as much as I am. I hope you are all in good health as it leaves me at present. Tell Dorothy that when I send her a bracelet I shall write her a long letter as well but I donít know when that will be as I am broke at present. I am writing this in a soldiers club which some rich gentlemen got up who took pity on us having to sleep in a dust hole. There are cards, games, dominoes, billiards, and all sorts in it and you get supper every night as much as you can eat. I sat two hours one afternoon finding out a puzzle and the tailor next door said he would give me two pairs of socks, two the chap that did it first I won it with about half an hour to spare.
Dear mother I see by your letter that you are feeling it a pull with us not being at home but I donít think it will be long before we are back. There are no signs about going abroad yet but we are waiting for orders every minute.
Tell Dorothy I wouldnít mind having a minute with the Kaiser. I wouldnít half make to love to him. I think this is all I have to say this time, hoping Florrie, Dorothy and Aunt Lily and yourself and father are in the best of health from your loving son Jack.




Accession Number: KO1445/11


Letter home from Sevenoaks, with 4th Bn Private J Wilkinson
Private J Wilkinson
F Company 4th Battalion Kingís Own Royal Lancaster Regiment
6 Serpentine Road, Sevenoaks, Kent

Dear Mother and Father,
I was glad to receive your scarf and mittens and I have got them on now and I can feel the benefit of them. The War Office doesnít give much satisfaction to you on that paper you are just as wise after you have read it as before, I have just finished writing a letter to George, mother. I hope he receives it and answers it, it will be a surprise for him to get one from me if I donít hear anything in about a fortnight I will write again. I asked the colour sergeant about that money and he said it was sent by some council or something belonging to the district so let me know if you received it and if you donít I will ask the officer about it. The colours said he think it will come but they are a bit slack up there. Well mother I wonít have to write much more as my arm is still weak with inoculations so I will close hoping all at home are in the best of health as it leaves me at present love to all , Flo, Dot, baby, Aunt Lily, Father and yourself mother.
From your loving son, Jack.
xxxxxxx
Tell Dot I hope Darkey and the kitten is well.
xxxxx



Accession Number: KO1445/12


Letter home from Sevenoaks, with 4th Bn Private J Wilkinson
Private J Wilkinson, 1599
F Company 4th Battalion Kingís Own Royal Lancaster Regiment
6 Serpentine Road, Sevenoaks, Kent

Dear Mother and Father,
Just a line to let you know I am still in the best of health. I hope you received my last letter. I have had no word from George yet if I do I will let you know straight away. Please write and let me know if you heard anything of him when father went down to see that chap. Dear Mother I am sorry to say we are getting no Christmas here we are going to Sandwich for shooting on Sunday they reckon we are only going for six days I will let you know my address as soon as I get there. Please donít forget the mince pies at Christmas mother I am just dying to taste your pastry again. I see the Germans have been visiting England, I hope they donít pay you a visit at Barrow. I hope every body is still keeping well at home and Aunt Lily still pulling the pumps at a good speed. Well Mother I havenít much more to say so I will close with the best of love to all, Dot, Flo, Baby, Aunt Lily, Father and yourself Mother.
xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx from your loving
xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx son Jack.
PS Donít forget to let me know about George please. Good-night.



Accession Number: KO1445/13


Letter home from Sevenoaks, with 4th Bn. Private J Wilkinson
Private J Wilkinson 1599
F Company 4th Battalion Kingís Own Royal Lancaster Regiment
6 Serpentine Road, Sevenoaks, Kent

Dear Mother and Father,
Just a line to hope you are in the best of health as it leaves me at present. I received your letter and the money I thank you for the money it will come in very useful. I have no received the parcel yet perhaps it is on the road but I think I was very lucky to get the letter. Well mother we are going in very strict training down here we have a parade at seven in the morning till eight then from nine till one then from two till half past four it is all field training on the double so father will understand what we are doing. They are making us all grow moustaches you should see mine now it would do you a bit of good if we shave it off we get about fourteen days at Chelsea and I donít want that I have seen big chaps go there and come back like old men. I think they are sending all the home service men to Blackpool I donít think there is a man in the regiment who isnít sorry he signed on for foreign service especially the sergeants we are getting messed about that much but I not worrying you get out of that. We will be alright as soon as we get out we wonít have half as much to do. I think we are going out about January the fourth. It is hard lines on the woman we are billeted on they have made her clear three rooms for sixteen of us and she has to look after her father he is nearly dying and she has to cook our meals for us and there is bound to be a bit of noise when we all get in but she canít get out of it because she is a nurse under the government. She was at the front in the South African War and she doesnít half tell us some tales.
She said her husband was fighting at the same time and they fetched a dead man in one day and she was told off to lay him out and when she pulled the sheet from his face it turned out to be her husband. I think it is hard lines having to put up with us now.
Well mother I havenít much more to say so I will close with best love to all, Flo, Dot, Baby, Aunt Lilly, Father and yourself mother, from your loving son Jack.
xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx



Accession Number: KO1445/14


Press cutting of Death of Private J Wilkinson
Accession Number: KO1445/15


Letter to Private J Wilkinson in envelope
The Dolphin Hotel
Slough

Dear Jack,
Thanks awfully for letter, I was very pleased to hear from you.
So sorry to hear that you were nearly killed; poor Jack. Iím glad you like Sevenoaks. Have you a decent billet? We have ten billeted here, so you can guess we are pretty busy.
I was down Windsor Road on the Thursday before you went away, so it was quite probably that you saw me. I was with May and a friend of hers.
By the way, please send me your photo Jack, Iím waiting for it, and you promised me ages ago, didnít you.
Well I really think I must close now Iím just going out. Bye bye for now. Remember me to George and ?
Sincerely Yours
Bessie

PS Hope you will soon be better.
It would appear that this letter was forwarded to Jackís mother by his land lady.


Accession Number: KO1445/16


YMCA Postcard re Private J Wilkinson being ill
Postcard addressed to Mrs Wilkinson, 1 Byron Street, Barrow in Furness, Lancashire.
From Private A Morris, Mrs Emtage, St. Cuthbert's, 72 Strand Street, Sandwich, Kent.
Postmarked 8 Jan 1915

Dear Madam
Jack is lying ill, I donít think he has written to you or not but I have taken the liberty, he has a bad attack of influenza but donít be alarmed he is in good hands we are going back to Sevenoaks on Sunday back Jack is staying here.
I remain your obedient servant.
A Morris.



Accession Number: KO1445/17


Letter to Mrs. Wilkinson following the death of her son
S Cuthbert's
Sandwich
11 Jan 1914

Dear Mrs Wilkinson,
I have received the enclosed which I think is from you to your son and as he is not here now, I think I had better return it to you. He was here nearly three weeks and a better boy could not be. I was so grieved when he became ill. He had all the ? he could take and he was well looked after. I think the nurse has written to you if not shell will to let you know what the trouble is. He had a second Doctor and it was thought best for him to be removed to the Military Hospital, Canterbury.
I was very sorry to part with him, but there he will have ? care and attention.
I cannot tell you how deeply I feel for you. There is only one who can comfort and help in such trouble. We will look to him and hope that your son may soon be restored to health and to you.

I am yours truly,
M J Emptage
We are taking care of your sons kit.
Accession Number: KO1445/18


Letter to Mrs Wilkinson following the death of her son from Lieutenant Beardsley, 4th Battalion, Kingís Own Royal Lancaster Regiment.
14 Jan 1915
Dear Madam,
I regret very much indeed to hear of the death of you son, and I offer you my deepest sympathy, in which all the officers and men of his company join and I am sure you will realise who much our thoughts are with you in your loss.
Your son was a good soldier and you will be pleased to hear that there is not a mark of any description against his name since he joined the regiment and his comrades inform me that he was very popular and will be missed very much by them all.
Again offering you our very deepest sympathy.
I am
Yours faithfully
A Beardsley
Lieutenant

for Captain Little, Commanding ĎFí Company, 4th Battalion, The Kingís Own Regiment.


Accession Number: KO1445/19


Letter to Mrs. Wilkinson following the death of Private J Wilkinson in Sevenoaks
S Cuthberts
Sandwich
11 Feb 1915

Dear Mrs Wilkinson

We are sending your sonís clothes, uniform and kit. You must please let me pay the Carriage. It is a very little thing to do but it seems like doing something for him. Words cannot tell how deeply I sympathise with you in your trouble. We had known you son only a short time but we all respected and liked him very much indeed.
Annie Crowd who wrote to you is the young woman who waited on him and she is a good nurse. We also had the District Nurse who was a great comfort to him. He was so brave a patient.
Nurse came to see me and she told me he had lately lost tow near relations one a nephew in the war. There is hardly a family that has not lost some dear one.
I hope you will hear from your other son and that you will be comforted in your sorrow. No doubt he (the one we knew) is better off. I think it would have been worse if he had lost a limb or his sight as many have and then had to live on.
He gave his life for his country as bravely as any who die in the fighting line.
Now with kind thoughts and best wishes
Yours truly,

M J Emptage




Accession Number: KO1445/20


Printed letter Mrs Wilkinson following the death of her son from Lord Kitchener, who was Secretary of State for War at the time.


Accession Number: KO1445/21


Postcard to Miss D Wilkinson from Lance corporal Boddy of the East Lancashire Regiment in connection with cigarettes received.

Postcard, addressed to A Friend, c/o Miss D Wilkinson, 1 Byron Street, Barrow, England. Field Post Mark dated 25 Aug 1915.
The design on the front including a soldier smoking and the words ďA smoke is meat and drink to us out hereĒ. The card is also printed with ďThe smokes sent with this postcard were supplied to the Tobacco Fund by Martins Ltd, 210 Piccadilly, London.
12180 D Coy 16 Platoon, 1st East Lancs Regt BEF France
Dear Friend,
Just a few lines thanking you for your kind gift of cigarettes to us here. They were greatly appreciated. The picture on the face of this card of a Tommy enjoying a smoke is typical and quite true to life. No doubt you will know Dalton in Furness fairly well. I lived there for six years.
Sincerely yours
Arthur Boddy Lance Corporal.

Postcard from Lance corporal Arthur W Boddy, number 12180, 1st Battalion East Lancashire Regiment. He is recorded as going overseas on 5 Jan 1915 and was killed in action on 1 Jul 1916. He was the son of Joshua Lee Boddy and Ada Boddy of 19 Lyme Grove Romiley, Stockport. He has no known grave and is commemorated on the Thiepval Memorial.



Accession Number: KO1445/22


Letter with Memorial Plaque
Accession Number: KO1445/23


Cutting re death of Wilkinson, in Canterbury Hospital
Accession Number: KO1445/24

 

 

 

© Images are copyright, Trustees of the King's Own Royal Regiment Museum.
 You must seek permission prior to publication of any of our images.

Only a proportion of our collections are on display at anyone time.  Certain items are on loan for display in other institutions.  An appointment is required to consult any of our collections which are held in store.

© 2014 Trustees of the King's Own Royal Regiment Museum