Museum of the Manchester Regiment
The Men Behind the Medals

Harold Wilkinson

Harold Wilkinson :

Harold Wilkinson : British War Medal

British War Medal

We don't know anything about Harold's early life or family.

The First World War broke out in August 1914 and we believe Harold joined the Army soon afterwards. He enlisted in the Manchester Regiment and was given the service number 2446. After training he was sent to France on the 5th November 1914.

Shortly after this Harold will have joined a frontline unit. He did not leave the Manchester Regiment during this period, but unfortunately we don't know which battalion he joined. This means it is impossible to say where he served.

In mid 1918 Harold was transferred to the Machine Gun Corps and given the service number 162203.

The Machine Gun Corps existed so that machine gunners across the Army could help each other develop the specialist skills their job required. It also made it easier to bring large numbers of Vickers Machine Guns together to support the Army's operations. We don't know whether Harold had served as a machine gunner before he was transferred.

In August the Allies launched an offensive. It was highly successful and was soon driving the Germans back. Machine guns played in important part in these attacks. They could fire over the heads of attacking infantry to force the Germans to take cover and prevent them from defeating the attack.

The Allied successes led to the end of the war in November 1918. Harold survived and returned home, although the rest of his life is a mystery.

As well as his British War Medal, Harold was also awarded the 1914-15 Star and the Allied Victory Medal for his Army service.

Museum of the Manchester Regiment
c/o Portland Basin Museum
Portland Place
Heritage Wharf
Ashton-under-Lyne
OL7 0QA

Telephone: 0161 343 2878
Email: Portland.Basin@tameside.gov.uk
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Trustees of the Manchester Regiment Museum & Archive and Tameside Metropolitan Borough Council