Charles WILKINSON
Rank: Private
Number: 12103
Unit: 1st Battalion CHESHIRE Regiment
Date of Death: 7 May 1915
Age:
Cemetery: Menin Gate Memorial, Ieper, Belgium

Nothing is known of Charles Wilkinson's life, other than Regimental records indicate he had been born in Macclesfield. His only confirmed connection with Stockport is that he is known to have enlisted in the town (his service number indicating this was in August or September 1914).

He probably went overseas around the following January as part of the first draft of replacements for the regular army troops who had been killed or injured in the first few months of fighting.

Few details exist of the Battalion's activities on 7th May. Fighting around Hill 60, to the south of Ypres, had been going on for some time and, on 5 May, the Battalion was ordered out of reserve to move to support trenches near the Hill. As they reached open country near Zillebeke Lake, they came under a heavy shell barrage, combined with a gas attack. At this point in the war, their gas masks were nothing more than wadding held over the mouth by elastic. When they reached the support trenches, they were ordered into an attack as the Germans had recaptured the Hill. They were successful in capturing their allotted objective at Larch Wood, but other units failed to dislodge the Germans from the Hill.

The Battalion's War Diary makes no mention of the 6th or 7th and the Regimental History only records that "further attempts on the Hill were made at dawn on the 7th, but all failed". Records indicate that 20 men were killed on the 7th, including Charles, Alfred Gillin and Hugh Williams.

   
           
   
     
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