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James Wilson cap badgePrivate James Wilson

1st Battalion Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers
Service No: 26959

James Wilson grave





Personal details

Family Information

Son of William and Mary Wilson of 49b Coatbank St, Coatbridge. From the 1901 Census - Address - 8d Jackson St, Coatbridge - William Wilson aged 48, Mary Wilson aged 42, James Wilson aged 18, Elizabeth Wilson aged 18, Catherine Wilson aged 13, Patrick Wilson aged 13, boarders Patrick Mullen aged 45, Owen Hart aged 51, Thomas Gilroy aged 30, Peter Brun aged 24. James' Pension was awarded to his mother Mary of 85h Deedes St, Airdrie on the 29/06/1917. The 2nd Pension states her address as 63a Buchanan St, Coatbridge.

Born / Resided

Coatbridge / 49b Coatbank St, Coatbridge


Died of Wounds (Gas Poisoning) on the 09/08/1916 at the 3rd Canadian Casualty Clearing Station. Wounds received at the Battles of the Somme




Tube Work Labourer aged 18.



Buried / Remembered

Lijssenthoek Military Cemetery (VIII. D. 28A), West-Vlaanderen, Belgium

Cemetery / Memorial Information

Lijssenthoek was the location for a number of casualty clearing stations during the First World War. The village was situated on the main communication line between the Allied military bases in the rear and the Ypres battlefields. Close to the Front, but out of the extreme range of most German field artillery, it became a natural place to establish casualty clearing stations. Lijssenthoek Military Cemetery is the second largest CWGC cemetery in Belgium after Tyne Cot Cemetery. The cemetery contains 9,901 Commonwealth burials of the First World War, 24 being unidentified. There are 883 war graves of other nationalities, mostly French and German, 11 of these are unidentified. There is 1 Non World War burial here.

Additional Information

The Battalion sailed in March 1915 going via Egypt and landed at Cape Helles, Gallipoli on the 25/04/1915. In January 1916 they were evacuated from Gallipoli to Egypt. On the 18/03/1916 they arrived in Marseilles and were part of the 87th Brigade, 29th Division. James Died of Wounds (Gas Poisioning) at the 3rd Canadian Casualty Clearing Station. The Division fought in the opening phase of the Somme battles at the Battle of Albert, 1st – 13th July 1916 : In this opening phase, the French and British assault broke into and gradually moved beyond the first of the German defensive systems. For the British, the attack on the 1st July proved to be the worst day in the nation’s military history in terms of casualties sustained. It is the aspect of the battle that is most remembered and most written about, and for good reason – but to concentrate on the failures is to entirely miss the point of the Somme and why the battle developed into an epic period of the Great War. On the first day, British forces at the southern end of the British line made an impressive advance alongside the French Sixth Army, capturing the villages of Montauban and Mametz and breaking through the enemy’s defensive system. North of Mametz the attack was an almost unmitigated failure. The situation led to a redirection of effort, with the offensive north of the River Ancre effectively being closed down and all future focus being on the line south of Thiepval. There was a stiff fight for Trones Wood and costly, hastily planned and piecemeal attacks that eventually took La Boisselle, Contalmaison and Mametz Wood during the rest of the period up to 13 July. This was part of the Battles of the Somme, 1st July – 18th November 1916 : A Franco-British offensive that was undertaken after Allied strategic conferences in late 1915, but which changed its nature due to the German attack against the French in the epic Battle of Verdun, which lasted from late February to November. Huge British losses on the first day and a series of fiercely contested steps that became attritional in nature. For all armies on the Western Front it was becoming what the Germans would call “materialschlacht”: a war not of morale, will or even manpower, but of sheer industrial material might. The 15th September 1916 saw the first-ever use of tanks in the step known as the Battle of Flers-Courcelette. The British army in France is now approaching its maximum strength in numbers but is still developing in terms of tactics, technology, command and control. James is also remembered on the Trinity Parish Church Roll of Honour (see photos). See photos for James' Medal Index Card, his Army Register of Soldiers Effects, his Service Medal and Award Rolls, his listing in the Ireland Casualties WW1, his CWGC Grave Registration x 2, his Headstone Report x 2, James' Grave x 2, Lijssenthoek Military Cemetery, James' Pension Records x 2 and the Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers Cap Badge.

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