Wilfred Lawson France (c.1879-1916)

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An ongoing project to commemorate and research the lives of those who appear on war memorials and rolls of honour in the local area, who served in the military, or whose deaths were linked to conflict.

Huddersfield's Roll of Honour: 1914-1922

The following extract is from Huddersfield's Roll of Honour: 1914-1922 (2014) by J. Margaret Stansfield:

FRANCE, WILFRED LAWSON. Private. No 2794. 1/7th Battalion Duke of Wellington's Regiment, attached 147th Brigade Machine Gun Company. Born Linthwaite. Son of Henry and Ellen France, 53 Wood Top, Slaithwaite. Employed by Messrs J. and J. Sykes and Sons, coal merchants. Enlisted Christmas 1914. Embarked for France April, 1915, when he was transferred into the transport section and the Machine Gun Company. His work in the transport section kept him in touch with horses and he won 100 francs in a competition for the best groomed horse. Came home on leave a fortnight before his death. Killed in action, 2.7.1916, aged 37 years. Buried CONNAUGHT CEMETERY, THIEPVAL. Grave location:- Plot 12, Row M, Grave 1.
The first intimation of his death was contained in a letter from Captain W. H. Sproule of the same Company. He wrote, 'It is with deep regret that I have to inform you that Private France was killed in action on the night of the 2nd inst. His loss is a great blow to me as he had always been a most bright and cheerful worker in the transport section. I trust that the knowledge that he died whilst doing his duty will be some consolation to you. He was bringing up ammunition for the machine guns on pack mules at the time and was hit by a fragment of high explosive shell, killing him instantly.'
ROH:- Carr Lane Methodist Church, Slaithwaite; St. James' Church, Slaithwaite; Slaithwaite War Memorial; Huddersfield Drill Hall.

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