Gunner 44166 Joseph Wilkes

Wilkes Joseph 96 440x600

Died of Wounds on Monday, 31st July 1916, age 19.
Buried in Grave I. E. 35. at La Neuville British Cemetery, Corbie, Somme, France.

Royal Field Artillery, 163rd Brigade, "B" Battery. 35th Division.

Son of James and Eliza Wilkes, of Moxley, nr. Wednesbury, Staffs.
Born: Tipton, Enlisted: Wednesbury, Resident: Unknown.

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

Not commemorated on any Tipton memorial.
Commemorated here because identified as Tipton on 'Soldiers Died in the Great War'.

Link to Commonwealth War Graves Site: www.cwgc.org/find-war-dead/casualty/67325/

Genealogical Data

1901 Census
Court 4 House 3, High Street, Darlaston, Staffs.
James Wilkes (37, Iron Bundler, born Tipton), his wife Eliza (35, born Tipton), and their 5 children: George (13, Bright Tinner, born Bilston), Violet (10, born Prince's End), Richard (7, born Prince's End), Joseph (4, born Prince's End), and Harold (6 months, born Wednesbury).

1911 Census
Court 4 House 3, High Street, Darlaston, Staffs.
Eliza Wilkes (46, Widow, born Prince's End), and her 4 surviving children of 8: George (24, Breaker Down at Mill, born Bilston), Richard (18, Galvaniser, born Prince's End), Joseph (15, Errand Boy, born Moxley), and Harold (11, School, born Wolverhampton).

Personal Data

After Joseph's death, his outstanding army pay and allowances amounted to £3/9/6d (3 pounds, 9 shillings and 6 pence); this was paid to his mother, Elizabeth, in January and February 1917. His War Gratuity was £3/10/0d (3 pounds and 10 shillings), this was also paid to his mother in December 1919. The value of the War Gratuity suggests that Joseph had enlisted in approximately May 1915.

Action resulting in his death

The 163rd Brigade of the Royal Field Artillery was attached to the 35th Division. On 30th July 1916, the 163rd Brigade would have been supporting the 35th Division attack on Guillemont. It is a distinct possibility that Gunner Joseph Wilkes was wounded during this attack, as he died of wounds on the next day, 31st July 1916.

Joseph was evacuated back through the Casualty Clearing chain, and arrived at No. 21 Casualty Clearing Hospital at Corbie, 10 miles south west of Albert. Here Joseph died on the 31st July and is buried at La Neuville British Cemetery.

Newspaper Cuttings