Private Wilkinson Day killed in action on the Somme

Private Wilkinson Day 15449 “A” Coy. 9th Bn. York and Lancaster Regiment
Submitted by his great-granddaughter

Wilkinson Day was born on 6th February 1892 and baptised on 28th February 1892 at a Methodist church in Mexborough, South Yorkshire. His address at that time was Roman Terrace. It appears he lived with his family on Wragby Row, Wath Road, Mexborough from birth for most of his life. (Due to boundary changes, some records show that he was born in Swinton, others show him living in Adwick upon Dearne and others record Mexborough.)

His father, Walter Day was born in Bradford. His mother, Rose Hannah (nee Bell) was born in Saltburn by the Sea. Daughter of an Iron Stone Miner, she appears to have been working in a Worsted Mill from an early age. They married in Bradford.

Wilkinson had 9 brothers and 3 sisters. His older sister Edith and older brother Ernest were born in Queensbury/Halifax. The family then moved to Swinton where Walter became a Coal Hewer at one of the local collieries. Wilkinson and all of his younger siblings appear to have been born in the Roman Terrace/Wragby Row, Wath Road area where the family settled. His younger siblings were: – Fred, Susan, George Arthur, Walter, Albert, Violet Ellen, Edmund, Joseph, William Edward and Herbert.

The 1911 census shows Wilkinson was living at Wragby Row and was a Pony Driver below ground.

Wilkinson married Elizabeth Hough on 27th August 1914 at Bolton upon Dearne. The marriage register records Bolton upon Dearne addresses for both bride and groom.

His only child, a son named Edward (Ted) was born in Bolton upon Dearne in May 1915.

Wilkinson served in World War 1 and was Killed in Action on 3rd October 1916 on the Somme.

His medal record shows: Theatre of War first served in – France. Date of Entry therein – 27th August 1915. Victory Medal, British Medal and 15 Star Medal.

Wilkinson is remembered on the Thiepval Memorial (Pier and Face 14A and 14B) Somme, France. Also, the WW1 Memorial cross in Adwick upon Dearne and the WW1 Memorial in the cemetery at Bolton upon Dearne.

His photograph, copied from a newspaper, can be seen in an entry for December 1916 on website bolton.dearnevalleyhistory.org.uk.
His details have also been researched and recorded by The Barnsley War Memorial Project.

His name appears in the book “From Pit Town to Battlefields: 1914-16 Mexborough & the Great War” by Bill Lawrence. Page 310 “This particular letter also mentions that Percy Sale was buried by a local comrade from Bolton-upon-Dearne. Private W Day, who himself died two hours after his acting Sergeant Major.” He is also listed on page 361. Perhaps Wilkinson and Sgt Percy Oswald Sale 15440 knew each other and perhaps enlisted together as they have similar service numbers? Interestingly, Percy Sale is recorded as having been killed on 1st October 1916.

His widow remarried twice and had 2 further sons in her second marriage.

Wilkinson’s son Edward, a collier, remained in the coal mining communities of the Dearne Valley where he and his wife raised their daughter and 3 sons.

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