8308 Private William Wilson, 75th Company, Machine Gun Corps died of wounds 4 July 1916 and is buried at Puchevillers British Cemetery, France.[1]  He was 24 years old and is commemorated on West Auckland War Memorial and the Roll of Honour, West Auckland Memorial Hall.

Family Details

William Wilson was born 1892 [2] at West Auckland the son of Joseph and Margaret Wilson.  There were 8 children:[3]

  • John bc.1891 at West Auckland
  • William born 1892 at West Auckland
  • Hilda bc.1894 at Trimdon Colliery
  • Florence bc.1896 at Trimdon Colliery
  • Mary bc.1897 at Trimdon Colliery
  • Joseph bc.1900 at Trimdon Grange
  • James bc.1902 at West Auckland
  • Maud bc.1904 at West Auckland

In 1901, the family lived at Darlington Road, West Auckland and 46 year old Joseph Wilson worked as a coal miner (hewer).[4]  In 1910, Joseph died.[5]  In 1911, widowed Margaret lived at 22 Oakley Street, West Auckland with 20 year old John and 19 year old William who both worked as coal miners (putters).  Hilda, Mary, James and Maud lived there.[6] Later Mrs. Wilson lived at 32 Oakley Street, West Auckland. [7]

Military Details

William Wilson enlisted at Bishop Auckland and joined the Hampshire Regiment and was given the regimental number 19350.[8]  Later, he was transferred to the 75th Company Machine Gun Corps being given the regimental number 8308.[9]  Private W. Wilson’s service record and the 75th Company MGC War Diary have not been researched.

15 March 1916: the 75th Company, Machine Gun Corps joined the 25th Division.[10] The Division saw action at Vimy Ridge in May 1916.  It was withdrawn for rest and training near St. Pol then moved to Warloy in the 3rd week of June.  It was part of the Fourth Army Reserve for the opening offensive for the Battle of the Somme.

1 – 13 July: the Battle of Albert (1st phase of the Battle of the Somme)

2 July: The 7th and 75th Brigades received orders to move to Aveluy Wood and Martinsart respectively and came under the orders of 32nd Division.

3 July: 75th Brigade made a virtually unsupported and inevitably costly and unsuccessful attack in one of the awful, piecemeal efforts to hold on to the minor gains in the Thiepval area on 1 July.  75th company MGC would have supported this attack. [11]

4 July: Private W. Wilson died of wounds.

Private W. Wilson was awarded the British War and Victory medals.[12]

Burial [13]

Private W. Wilson is buried at grave reference I.C.5 Puchevillers British Cemetery.  Mrs. Wilson had the following epitaph inscribed on his headstone:

He Died that we Might Live

In June 1916, the 3rd and 44th Casualty Clearing Stations came to the village of Puchevillers and the 2nd/1st South Midland Casualty Clearing Station used the cemetery during July and August 1916.  The cemetery contains 1763 First World War burials.


[1] Commonwealth War Graves Commission

[2] England & Wales Birth Index 1837-1915 Vol.10 p.234 Auckland 1892 Q2 Note: there are 3 registrations for 1892 with the name William Wilson at Auckland.

[3] 1901 & 1911 census

[4] 1901 census

[5] England & Wales Death Index 1837-1915 Vol.10a p.143 Auckland 1910 Q1

[6] 1911 census

[7] CWGC

[8] Soldiers Died in the Great War

[9] Medal Roll

[10] http://www.longlongtrail.co.uk

[11] http://www.longlongtrail.co.uk/army/orde-of-battle-of-divisions/25-division

[12] Medal Roll

[13] CWGC


WILSON W. Headstone


WILSON W.  Medal Roll

Medal Roll