Author Topic: Harold Wilkinson - loads of information - NOW WITH PICTURE LINK  (Read 8318 times)

paulkwilkinson

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Looking for information on my grandfather, Harold Wilkinson

http://www.flickr.com/photos/paulkwilkinson/4037056452

Born Sep 1923 in Chorlton, Lancashire
Served in the Manchesters in WW2 in the 7th Manchesters, as part of the 52nd 'Mountain' division.

He was the driver of a Cardon-Lloyd Bren Gun Carrier we have photos of him with the vehicle, which following some more research does i ndeed have the 52nd's markings (62 in a black sq to the front right, crossed swords on a black sq to the left - we even have the vehicle number if that helps!).

We are unsure of his rank, but he is wearing the Fleur-de-Leys cap badge, 'Manchesters', 'Mountain' - (with shield) and some rank marking (unclear).

We are certain he trained in the Cairngorms and on Mont Blanc as my father recalls discussing it with him many years ago.

He was awarded the 1939-45 medal, the Defence medal, the France & Germany star and the Burma or Africa star. We have other medals but cannot be sure they belong to him.
 
I have a copy of Mountain & Flood (wonderful book), which details the exploits of the 52nd in WW2 but find no reference to service in India/Africa and was wondering if he served there prior to joining the 52nd in the mid to late 40's

Married Kathleen Rose Lovatt 12 Apr 1945
Died in March 1968 in Heald Place, Rusholme, Manchester
« Last Edit: October 23, 2009, 11:15:12 AM by paulkwilkinson »

paulkwilkinson

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Re: Harold Wilkinson - loads of information - NOW WITH PICTURE LINK
« Reply #1 on: October 23, 2009, 11:17:02 AM »
Photo link now added

paulkwilkinson

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Re: Harold Wilkinson - loads of information - NOW WITH PICTURE LINK
« Reply #2 on: December 04, 2010, 10:56:03 PM »
Help?

Offline Wendi

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Re: Harold Wilkinson - loads of information - NOW WITH PICTURE LINK
« Reply #3 on: December 05, 2010, 09:14:31 AM »
Hi Paul !

Your best bet is to obtain his service record. It will probably fill in the blanks for you !

Wendi  :)
"Believe nothing, no matter where you read it, or who said it!  No matter if I have said it, unless it agrees with your own reason and with your own common sense" ~ Buddha

paulkwilkinson

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Re: Harold Wilkinson - loads of information - NOW WITH PICTURE LINK
« Reply #4 on: January 03, 2011, 10:16:38 PM »
Having asked my dotty grandmother 4 times for a copy of his death certificate I have opted to enquire using the British Army General Enquirers Form.

It's £30 but well worth it. If I can get a service number it should open other avenues of enquiry surely?

paulkwilkinson

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Re: Harold Wilkinson - loads of information - NOW WITH PICTURE LINK
« Reply #5 on: January 03, 2011, 11:19:36 PM »
A little further research has come up with some details for the Bren Gun Carrier (I will get a copy of this photo eventually!) and it seems it could be from "2nd Infantry Brigade, Junior Infantry Battalion - 62 on Green Square" - perhaps taken while training?

I also found reference to Aldershot which corroborates with an account of another soldier; "the Battalion (Bn) moved to Albuhera barracks, Aldershot. Here Bill asked for a transfer to the bren gun carriers, and sailed through the driver’s test."

Perhaps it was taken as a souvenir after passing his drivers test?

Looking at the 52nd 'Mountain' attachment:

"On the 9th October 1944 Montgomery asked Brooke to assign the 52nd Lowland Division to the First Canadian Army. The first major operations of the 52nd were not in mountainous terrain or through the air, but deployed below sea level on the flooded polders around the Scheldt Estuary of Belgium and the Netherlands. Operations Vitality and Infatuate were aimed to capture South Beveland and the island of Walcheren and to open the mouth of the Scheldt estuary. This would enable the Allies to use the port of Antwerp as a supply route for the troops in North-West Europe. It was in this vital operation that the 52nd Division was to fight its first great battle with brilliant success.                                                            
The famous territorial Regiments that were incorporated in the 52nd Lowland Division, were all drawn from the Scottish lowlands, and have a history that in some cases goes back more than 300 years. The battalions of these regiments were spread over three infantry brigades: 155th (South Scottish) Brigade, 156th (Scottish Rifles) Brigade and 157th (Highland Light Infantry) Brigade. The 155th BDE contained the 4th and 5th battalion of the King's Own Scottish Borderers, and the 7/9th battalion of the Royal Scots. The 156th BDE contained the 4/5th Battalion the Royal Scots Fusiliers, 6th and 7th battalion of the Cameronian Scottish Rifles. The 157th BDE contained the 1st Battalion the Glasgow Highlanders, the 5th and 6th battalion of the Highland Light Infantry. It should be noted that these Scottish Territorial battalions were bolstered with large drafts of English soldiers and not all drawn from their traditional Regimental recruiting areas.
At the divisional level 1 independent machine gun battalion, the 7th Manchester Regiment, was attached.

7th Bn. The Manchester Regiment (divisional machine gun unit) became a part of the 52nd Lowland Division from 19.3.1944-31.8.1945
"


I'm somewhat confused by this. His photo shows him wearing the Mountain insignia, putting him in training for sure. By all accounts the Manchesters were attached to the 52nd on the 19.3.1944. This would make him 21yrs of age. He looks much younger in the photo? Would he have been training with them earlier than that?
« Last Edit: January 03, 2011, 11:42:54 PM by paulkwilkinson »

Offline Wendi

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Re: Harold Wilkinson - loads of information - NOW WITH PICTURE LINK
« Reply #6 on: January 08, 2011, 12:37:03 PM »
Having asked my dotty grandmother 4 times for a copy of his death certificate I have opted to enquire using the British Army General Enquirers Form.

It's £30 but well worth it. If I can get a service number it should open other avenues of enquiry surely?

Don't be too hard on Grandmother !!! If all else fails you can throw another £9.50 at the project and obtain a copy of his death cert. via http://www.gro.gov.uk/gro/content/ from the comfort of your computer   ;D  The reference you will need is Manchester, Volume 10e Page 297 age at death 44 years  ;)

Wendi  :)

Oh and !  Make sure you get original copies of his service record, and I think you will be surprised how much info it contains  :)
"Believe nothing, no matter where you read it, or who said it!  No matter if I have said it, unless it agrees with your own reason and with your own common sense" ~ Buddha

paulkwilkinson

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Re: Harold Wilkinson - loads of information - NOW WITH PICTURE LINK
« Reply #7 on: January 17, 2011, 12:04:48 AM »
I've sent for his service record and will post information on here as it arrives.

In the meantime - more interesting photos:

Grandad and two friends (anyone know them?)


Unusual cap badge. I can't identify it?


52nd Division Bren Gun Carrier I assume


Can we get anything from the vehicle number?



« Last Edit: February 28, 2014, 01:56:19 AM by paulkwilkinson »

paulkwilkinson

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Re: Harold Wilkinson - loads of information - NOW WITH PICTURE LINK
« Reply #8 on: February 28, 2014, 02:01:48 AM »
Death certificate ordered.

Here is a bit of a weird one. I was looking through Commando battalion photos and this one is No.4 Commando. The chap 3rd row up and 3rd from right looks familiar (or is it me?)




Offline george.theshed197

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Re: Harold Wilkinson - loads of information - NOW WITH PICTURE LINK
« Reply #9 on: February 28, 2014, 10:31:14 AM »
Hi Paul and welcome to the Forum,
I am trying to put names to the three faces that jumped out at me when I came on line this morning but it is indeed a problem - it is what - some 65 years or so since we left Goslar and Wuppertal behind us and the old memory is struggling.  There are a couple of other folks on here who will be in a similar position no doubt and hopefully we will all arrive at a result sooner rather than later,

The 4 Commando photo may well have been take up at Achnacharry, down the road aways down from Spean Bridge up in North West Invernesshire or Fort George on the coastal stretch of The Moray Firth. I did some of my early training in that region and the multiplicity of Regimental Badges and resultant difficulty of identification of same again are hard to make out. 

The vehicle numbers  similarly - basically these are the Battalion MT listings along with  the Divisional Signs but not, strangely enough ,those of the 52nd (Cross Keys) Lowland Div which we wore down in that area?.

Having said that let us see what else we can turn up.
Cheers,
George.

paulkwilkinson

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Re: Harold Wilkinson - loads of information - NOW WITH PICTURE LINK
« Reply #10 on: February 28, 2014, 11:11:29 PM »
A comparison photo.

« Last Edit: February 28, 2014, 11:17:09 PM by paulkwilkinson »

paulkwilkinson

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Re: Harold Wilkinson - loads of information - NOW WITH PICTURE LINK
« Reply #11 on: March 07, 2014, 11:35:23 AM »
Some progress. I now have a copy of his death certificate.

Next up is the service record which I will get on the way early next week. Lets hope that turns up a bit more detail.

As he passed away in 1968 it is passed the 25 year threshold and hopefully will have some deeper information.


Offline tonyrod

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Re: Harold Wilkinson - loads of information - NOW WITH PICTURE LINK
« Reply #12 on: March 09, 2014, 09:51:28 AM »
Paul, try this website, http://gallery.commandoveterans.org/cdoGallery/v/units/Royal+Marine+Commando+Units/
these lads will, know all you need to know on the photos,
 dotty grandmother;s  sorry! show some respect Paul

paulkwilkinson

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Re: Harold Wilkinson - loads of information - NOW WITH PICTURE LINK
« Reply #13 on: March 10, 2014, 12:29:51 AM »
Already on there with this thread Tony.

http://forum.commandoveterans.org/cdoForum/posts/list/0/4202.page#15666

I showed my mother and father the pictures and they both agree the likeness. The soldier in the group photo looks like my Dad.  :)

Offline tonyrod

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Re: Harold Wilkinson - loads of information - NOW WITH PICTURE LINK
« Reply #14 on: March 10, 2014, 09:03:57 AM »
got to admit PAUL they are very much alike,   my uncles ship hms Prins Albert carried 4 commando on the Dieppe Raid,
http://tonyrod.webs.com/