WILKINS, William

Private William Wilkins
901, 612138 1/1st & 3/1st Royal Horse Artillery

William Wilkins was born in 1887 at Upper Boddington, Northants son of John Joseph Wilkins and Anna Maria (nee Archer) who both originated from Northants.  His parents married at Banbury, Oxon  and lived for the first few years of their marriage at Upper Boddington Village, Northants where his father was employed as an agricultural labourer. In the early 1890s they left the village of their birth and moved to Old Westwood where his father took up work as a railway platelayer for the Midland Railway Company.   William had younger brothers and sisters Sarah, Mary, Frederick, Dick and Walter and by 1911 all the male occupants of the ‘Westwoodville’ household were gainfully employed, William as a collier loader, Frederick as a labourer at the pipe works and youngest sons Dick and Walter as pit lads at the colliery.

William attested on 22nd June 1915. In 1918/1919 he is listed on the Absent Voters Roll as absent from Palmerston Street, Westwood. He was a recipient of the Victory and British War Medals. William’s brothers Fred and Dick served during WW1 and are also named on the Jacksdale War Memorial.

William married Emma Slater on 14th December 1915 at Ilkeston, Derbyshire and they made their home at Orchard Cottage, Cromford Road, Langley Mill, Aldercar. They had a daughter named Betty. William’s parents John Joseph and Anna Maria remained in the Westwood area and are both buried at Westwood, St. Mary’s.