The information displayed here is at the time of death.
Percy Wilkinson was born in Slaithwaite, West Yorkshire, on 15 June 1890, the youngest of William and Elizabeth Wilkinson’s eight children. He attended Bede College 1908-1910, during which time he was a keen cricket player for both the Juniors and the Seniors, his performances often being commented upon and praised in The Bede magazine. Upon completing his training at Bede, he boarded at a house in the village of Brandon and Byshottles in Durham, and in the 1911 census his occupation is listed as elementary school teacher for the county council, although it is unknown at which school he taught and he is not commemorated on the County’s war memorial. It seems Wilkinson enlisted soon after the outbreak of war in 1914, and by March 1915 he was a corporal with the 8th Battalion Durham Light Infantry. Wilkinson was gazetted in December of that year and sent to France in July 1916. At the time of his death, aged 27, during the Battle of Cambrai at La Vacquerie on 4 December 1917, he was a lieutenant in the 6th Battalion Lancashire Fusiliers and attached to the 7th Battalion Royal Warwickshires. His commanding officer reported that part of the line was then being held by Wilkinson’s company, and when it was attacked by the Germans he successfully led a counter-attack to eject them. However, whilst at the head of the party he was killed by a grenade. From 29 November to 4 December the Germans’ major counterattack meant that much of the ground gained by the Allies was lost, along with many men. The Bede magazine reported Wilkinson’s death in its August 1918 edition and noted that “his Colonel writes of him in high terms of praise”. Lieutenant Wilkinson has no known grave and so his sacrifice is commemorated on the Cambrai Memorial at Louverval. He is also remembered on the Slaithwaite War Memorial, and the Bede College 1914-18 Plaque, Cross and Roll of Honour.
Place of birth: Slaithwaite, West Yorkshire.
Place of employment: Waterhouses, Co. Durham.
Place of residence: 3 Russell Street, Waterhouses, Co. Durham.
Cambrai Memorial, Louveral, France
Slaithwaite War Memorial
Bede College 1914-18 Plaque, Cross and Roll of Honour
Emma Marshall, Joyce Malcolm.
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