Gunner Josiah Wilkinson, aged 20, died of wounds on 1st October 1916, whilst serving with “A” Bty. 77th Bde. Royal Field Artillery. He was born in Meriden and baptised at St Laurence’s Church, Meriden on 8th November 1896. He was the second of the three children (all boys) of parents William (a farm labourer) and Annie. His two brothers – William and Frank – were born in 1895 and 1899 respectively.
By 1901, the family was living at Park Road, Little Packington. Parents, William and Annie, were still in Little Packington in 1911, living at School Road with their 11-year-old son, Frank (1899-1967).
In 1911, 14-year-old Josiah was living in Meriden and working as a farm boy for widowed farmer, Elizabeth Mary Gilbert (aged 59) and her 25-year-old son, Bernard. Josiah’s 16-year-old brother, William (1895-1975) , was living in Berkswell with his aunt and uncle, Thomas and Elizabeth Wale, and working as a domestic gardener.
We don’t know when Josiah joined the Army but he didn’t see overseas service before 1916. He died of wounds on 1st October and is buried at St Sever Cemetery, Rouen, France. He is not commemorated on the war memorial at Meriden, presumably because of the family living in Little Packington.
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