Memorial .Ypres Town Cemetery ExtensionI. G. 1.Flanders

Awards & Titles:

Distinguished Conduct Medal

Family :

  Son of David and Christina Hunter Wilkie, of Burntisland, Fife; husband of Harriet Wilkie, of Avondale, 151 Hampton Rd., Ilford, Essex.

Military :

Unit :  1/Leinster Regiment 

Action : The Battle of Neuve Chapelle and subsidiary actions 

Action :

John WILKIE was born June 16 1874 at Auchterderran in Fife. Father David, Mother Christina (living at Wester Lochead Farm Cottage) one of 7 children. He joined the Scots Guards between July and November 1894 aged 19 years. He fought in the Boer War and appears to have won the DCM in that conflict. Andrew Meldrum has given much information about his ancestor: 'Family folk lore suggests that he was part of a detachment of mounted soldiers who were formed to try and match the Boer Mounted Guerrillas. There are also photos of him is in dress uniform of the Scots Guards as a Sergeant and looks to be circa 1903. The next one is circa 1907 with his wife and their daughter Christina. He is in the uniform of Colour Sergeant Scots Guards and is sporting a number of medals which includes one with clasps which are likely from battles in the Boer War. I am sure that a medal specialist could identify if one of them is the DCM. He is also wearing the SASC (Small Arms School Corps) badges on both his sleeves'. He was a member of Wanderers Lodge No 1604 which was (and still is) based in London. One of our team has yet to follow up with the Lodge. John Wilkie was commissioned on 20 December 1914 and he crossed to France from Southampton on 16 February 1915 and joined the 1st Battalion Leinster Regiment. He died of wounds on 9th April 1915 from wounds sustained on 14th March in action at Ypres. He is buried in the Ypres Town Cemetery Annexe Extension. He died of his wounds in the 81st Field Ambulance on 9 April 1915. The 14th and 15th March found the 1st Leinster’s in action at St. Eloi, South of Ypres. The History of the Prince of Wales Leinster Regiment compiled and edited by Lieutenant Colonel Frederick Ernest Whitten C.M.G, Late of the Regiment, notes on page 122 : “The Enemy in front had sniping well organised as we were soon to learn of the deaths of Lieutenant Wilkie and Captain Bates” Wilkie and Bates were both wounded by snipers and died later when at the Field Ambulance.

Neuve Chapelle (10-12 March 1915) was the first planned offensive battle by the BEF in France and achieved limited tactical success but not the expected breakthrough. It highlighted the problem of delay in execution that allowed the defending Germans to regroup, often consequent on small incidents and errors. Having stabilised the situation following the German sweep into France and the counter attack that eventually established static trench warfare on the western front, there was significant pressure on Britain to take a share of the burden from the French (who had without question had born the brunt of the fighting). Although the battle was effectively over by 12th March, the official battle nomenclature included actions in other sectors up to 22 April 1915 including the significant actions at St Eloi and at Hill 60 (Ypres.

Masonic :

TypeLodge Name and No.Province/District :
Mother : Wanderers No. 1604 E.C.London

11th January 1910
8th February 1910
8th March 1910

Source :

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Additional Source:

Last Updated: 2017-06-17 08:35:28