Lance Corporal 16105 James Ernest Wilde

Wilde James Ernest 96 433x600

Died of Wounds on Tuesday, 13th March 1917, age 21.
Buried in Grave 4 at Rosieres Communal Cemetery, Somme, France.

18th Bn., Lancashire Fusiliers. 104th Brigade of 35th Division.

Born: Dudley Port, Enlisted: Dudley, Resident: Tipton.

First landed France & Flanders, post 31st December 1915.
Medal entitlement: British War Medal, Victory Medal.
Soldier's Papers at National Archives did not survive.

Commemorated on the Tipton Library Memorial.
Commemorated here because he appears on a Tipton memorial.

Link to Commonwealth War Graves Site: www.cwgc.org/find-war-dead/casualty/314309/

Genealogical Data

The spelling of this surname is recorded in numerous ways (Wild, Whild and Wilde); I have followed the version used in his Army records and by the Commonwealth War Graves Commission.

Birth of James Wild registered December quarter 1895 in Dudley.

1901 Census
220 Dudley Port, Tipton, Staffs.
Thomas Wild (27, Labourer in Foundry, born Tipton), his wife Sarah (26, born Rowley), and their 2 children: James (5, born Tipton), and Sidney Victor (1, born Tipton).

1911 Census
House 2 Court 14 Dudley Port, Tipton, Staffs.
Thomas Whild (32, Labourer, born Tipton), his wife Sarah (35, bornTividale), and their 3 surviving children of 4: James (15, Moulder, born Dudley Port), Victor (11, born Dudley Port), and Frank (7, born Dudley Port).

James Ernest Wilde is the Nephew of James Wilde who was killed in 1916 and also recorded on this web-site - click: James Wilde.

Personal Data

The 18th Battalion Lancashire Fusiliers was initially a Bantam Battalion for men less than the 5' 3'' required for other infantry Battalions. By the end of 1916 the quality of Bantam replacements became sub-standard; in common with the other Bantam Battalions, replacements from then on were average conscripts. As James Wilde died after 1916, it cannot be assumed that he was a Bantam by height.

After James's death, his outstanding army pay and allowances amounted to £4/4/4d (4 pounds, 4 shillings and 4 pence); this was paid to his father, Thomas, in July 1917. James's War Gratuity was £9/0/0d (9 pounds exactly), this was also paid to his father in October 1919. The value of the War Gratuity suggests that James had enlisted in approximately February 1915.

Action resulting in his death

The 35th Division, which included the 18th Lancashire Fusiliers, was in the Rosieres sector in March 1917. This is south of the River Somme, about 10 miles south west of Peronne. The Germans were about to commence their 'Retreat to the Hindenburg Line', but were still aggressively holding their front line. No specific action is recorded in the 35th Division's History for the 13th March, other than the B/159 Battery of the Royal Field Artillery being heavily shelled, there were also reports of gas shells.

James Wilde died of wounds probably received on the same day, and is buried in Rosieres Communal Cemetery.

Newspaper Cuttings

Evening Despatch 7th April 1917
Compiled from the latest Casualty Lists.
LANCASHIRE FUSILIERS- Wilde, 16105, Lce-Cpl., J.E., (Tipton).