Thomas WILKINSON
Rank: Private
Number: 12934
Unit: 19th Battalion MANCHESTER REGIMENT
Date of Death: 6 February 1916
Age: 18
Cemetery: Corbie Communal Cemetery, Somme, France

Thomas' name is inscribed on the Stockport War Memorial. He appears to have lived his life in nearby Gorton, his connection with the local area seems to be as an employee of the Broadstone Spinning Co., Broadstone Lane, Reddish.

William and Sarah Wilkinson originated from Dukinfield and their first child, Hannah, was born there in about 1891. Within a couple of years, they had moved to Gorton living at 35 Kirk Street and, later, 9 Walters Street. Thomas was their fourth child and first son. As well as Hannah, his other older sisters were Nancy and Phoebe. The 1901 Census recorded that he had a younger brother, Robert, then 1.

The "Pals" Battalions of the Manchester Regiment were mainly recruited in September and October of 1914 and Thomas is understood to have made nine attempts to join up but was rejected on each occasion. It is not known if this was due to him being underage for overseas service (until he became 18) or was rejected on medical grounds. His service number suggests that, towards the early summer of 1915, he was finally successful and was assigned to the fourth of those Battalions - now officially designated as the 19th (Service) Battalion. He will have gone overseas with his new comrades in November 1915.

On 2 February, the Battalion started another tour of duty in the trenches near the French village of Carnoy, taking over a section of the front line from a battalion of the King's Liverpool Regiment . The Battalion's War Diary notes that they spent a quiet night and that the 3rd was a very quiet day. "D" Company's Sergeant Major was hit in the leg by a bullet and "one other man" was wounded. Thomas is believed to have been the other man and had been injured by a grenade This was probably a rifle grenade shot over No man's Land by the Germans

He was evacuated from the trench to a field hospital at Corbie, arriving there on the 4th. This will have been either 5th or 21st Casualty Clearing Station. Military surgeons will have done all they could for him but to no avail and he died two days later.

   
           
   
     
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