Friends of the Somme - Mid Ulster Branch  
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268276   Private Thomas Wilson
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Dated added: 30/12/2015   Last updated: 10/09/2018
Personal Details
Regiment/Service: 1st / 6th Battalion, Black Watch (British Army)
Date Of Birth: 13/05/1892
Died: 01/04/1917 (Killed in Action)
Age: 24
Summary      
Thomas and Joseph Wilson were sons of William and Jane Wilson. Joseph was born in Cookstown on 13th May 1892. Thomas was one of a family of possibly eleven children. It seems the family moved to Scotland around 1900. There is no listing of the family in the Irish census in either the 1901 or 1911. The family lived at 74 Grey Street, Shettleston, Glasgow. The two young men enlisted together and were both in the 1st/6th Battalion Black Watch. On Sunday 1st April 1917 a shell hit a building that was being used as a billet. The Wilson brothers were killed in the incident.
Private Thomas Wilson
Further Information
Thomas and Joseph Wilson were sons of William and Jane Wilson. William Wilson and Elizabeth Jane Smyth were married on 3rd May 1881 in the district of Cookstown.
Thomas was born in Cookstown on 13th May 1892. Thomas was one of a family of possibly eleven children, nine surviving.
On the first anniversary of their death their devoted parents, brothers and sisters put the following poem in the paper:
Possible family: William Wilson, Elizabeth Jane Wilson, Anne Wilson (born 6th August 1884), John Wilson (born 25th April 1883), Matilda Wilson (born 6th August 1884), Robert Wilson (born 7th May 1886), William Wilson (born 3rd October 1887), Margaret Wilson (born 20th June 1889, died 8th August 1894), Thomas Wilson (born 28th December 1890, died 26th October 1891), Thomas Wilson (born 13th May 1892), Samuel Wilson (born 8th February 1894), Joseph Wilson (born 6th November 1895), Letitia Wilson (born 2nd February 1899).
It seems the family moved to Scotland around 1900. There is no listing of the family in the Irish census in either the 1901 or 1911.
The family lived at 74 Grey Street, Shettleston, Glasgow.
The two young men enlisted together, being numbered only four digits apart and were both in the 1st/6th Battalion Black Watch.
Private Thomas Wilson had the Regimental Number 7754, then 6511 and finally 268276.
On the night of 31st March 1917, a raid on the enemy lines was carried out and it was discovered that the 2nd Bavarian Reserve Infantry Regiment, considered to be one of the bravest and most stubborn in the German Army, was holding the line opposite. The plan was that on the following day, 1st April, they would attack and drive the Germans out of the salient into which they had advanced as a result of fighting on the Somme between the Ancre and the Scarpe. The task given to the 51st Highland Division (in conjunction with the Canadians on the left and the 34th Division on the right), was to capture the southern shoulder of Vimy Ridge.
It was during a German bombardment on the morning of the 1st April 1917 that the two brothers were killed in action together as a result of shellfire. The battalion had just moved to Mareouil when a shell hit a building that was being used as a billet. Twenty one men were killed outright and a further twenty eight were wounded. According to battalion records, the Wilson brothers were killed in the incident.
Private Thomas Wilson was serving with the 1st/6th Battalion of the Black Watch (Royal Highlanders) when he was killed in action on Sunday 1st April 1917.
On the first anniversary of their death their devoted parents, brothers and sisters put the following poem in the paper:
“Sleep our dear sons in a foreign grave
Your lives for your country you nobly gave
No friends stood near you to say goodbye
But safe in God’s keeping now you lie
Though one year has passed and gone
Since that great sorrow fell
Yet in our hearts we mourn the loss
Of those we loved so well
You have left behind some aching hearts
That loved you very dear
Hearts that never can forget
For still your memory’s written here.”
Brothers Private Joseph Wilson and Private Thomas Wilson are buried side by side in Mareouil Cemetery. Thomas is buried in plot 4- row B- grave 9 and Joseph is buried in plot 4- row B- grave 10.
Private Thomas Wilson is NOT commemorated on Cookstown Cenotaph.
The CWGC record Private Thomas Wilson as the son of William and Jane Wilson of Shivey, Sandholes, Dungannon, County Tyrone.
Read more
Relevant Cookstown Area Locations
No Location Region Location Notes Longtitude Latitude
1 Shivey, Sandholes Sandholes CWGC list parents at Shivey, Sandholes 54.612427 -6.804716
References and Links
No Link Reference Map Doc
1 Forum discussion (GWF) Information about the brothers
2 National Archives UK Medal card can be purchased here
3 Private Joseph Wilson Brother of Private Thomas Wilson
4 Soldiers Died in the Great War Details of Private Thomas Wilson
5 War Graves Photographic Project Photo of Private Joseph Wilson's grave can be purchased here
Cookstown District's War Dead Acknowledgements 2010-2019