Oldham Historical Research Group


James Wilkins - Private, 14240,
The Manchesters, 24th Battalion (Oldham Comrades), A Company, Platoon number 2

 WW1 serviceman

'A' COMPANY : PLATOON NO. II - photograph

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James Wilkins, born in 1884, was the eldest of the nine children of James and Annie Wilkins (sons - William, Joshua, William and Wrigley and daughters - Mary, Alice, Ivy and May).

On the 1891 census, the 6 year old James can be found living on Greenacres Rd., in Oldham, with his parents and younger brothers Joshua and William.

The1901 the census finds them living on Godwin Street and joined by 4 more siblings, Christopher, Wrigley, Mary and Alice. James, now age 16, is recorded as a cotton piecer.

In 1911, James, now age 26 was recorded as an iron turner in the textile industry. He was single and living with his family on Esther Street. Two more sisters had been born, Ivy and May. His brother Joshua had married and was not on the census with them but a grandchild, Mary, was also living with the family.

James' service records don't appear to have survived but his medal card shows us that he was a private in the Manchesters, number 14240.

There is a reference to him in the book, 'Cotton Town Comrades' (see 'More Reading' ) which tells us that he was in 'A' company, 2nd Platoon. It also records that he was wounded on the 14th January, 1917 and sent back to the UK on the 24th January 1917. He died of his wounds 7th May 1917. His great-nephew, believes that he died in hospital in Norfolk. He is buried in a war grave in Greenacres cemetery (CWGC).

James' four brothers, William, Christopher, Wrigley and Joshua also enlisted. The only Service Records that appear to have survived are those of Wrigley Wilkins. They show that he was a Private, number 28241, in the 27th Manchester Regiment. He enlisted in Oldham in November 1915 and went to France in 1916. Although all 4 brothers survived the war, Wrigley was a victime of a gas attack and his early death is recorded as June 1928. His family believed that he never fully recovered from being gassed.

back to 'SERVICEMEN WE KNOW' Gallery
or return to:
James Wilkins page in 'The 24th Manchester Regiment on the Somme' Project

Pictures & information contributed by : Michael Campbell

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