5682457 Pte (William) Sidney WILKINS, 2nd Ox & Bucks: 07/06/1944, Escoville, Normandy

Discussion in 'Airborne' started by Memory Tracks, Jul 26, 2022.

  1. Memory Tracks

    Memory Tracks Member

    Hello Everyone !
    In 1944 my family owned the Chateau d’Escoville. Recently, I red in the 2nd Ox and Bucks war diary that the chateau should have become the Batallion HQ on june 7th. But, as you certainly know, the fighting with elements of the 21st Panzer was so violent that the british had to withdraw in the afternoon and many men were killed or were injured.
    Unless I’m mistaken, all british soldiers killed that day have been buried in Herouvillette communal cemetery (and, maybe, in Ranville War Cemetery too…). But, ONE Ox and Bucks soldier – Private Sidney (William) Wilkins, from Kingswood, Bristol – was buried in Escoville, in the little churchyard.
    Could someone tell me more about PVT Wilkins : his (too short) life, the circumstances of his death, why his body hasn’t been buried in Herouvillette with his brothers in arms ?
    I tried to find a picture of Pvt Wilkins, but in vain. Could someone find one ? I think that it could be important for the population of Escoville to put a face to that – lonely – name.
    Thanks a lot for your help !
    CL1 likes this.
  2. Owen

    Owen -- --- -.. MOD

    I've edited Pvt to Pte in the title as he was British & not American
  3. dbf

    dbf Moderatrix MOD

    For the record, full CWGC details & link:
    Private William Sydney Wilkins | War Casualty Details 2633474 | CWGC

    Service Number: 5682457
    Regiment & Unit: 2nd (Airborne) Bn.
    Oxford and Bucks Light Infantry
    Date of Death: 07 June 1944
    Age 22 years old
    Buried or commemorated at ESCOVILLE CHURCHYARD
    Location: France
    Additional Info: Son of William and Florance M. Wilkins, of Kingswood, Gloucestershire.
    Personal Inscription: GOD GRANT ETERNAL REST
    Rfn1940 likes this.
  4. Cee

    Cee Senior Member Patron

    Isn't there a law which prohibits removal of remains from Churchyards in France?

    Regards ...
  5. harkness

    harkness Well-Known Member

    Keynsham marriages, Dec 1917
    William Wilkins
    Florence M Hepburn

    (William's given occupation _ Sapper, R.E.)

    Wilkins, Edna M - Hepburn - Keynsham - Mar 1920
    Wilkins, William S - Hepburn - Bristol - Mar 1922

    1939 Register
    410 Soundwell Road, Two Mile Hill, Bristol, Gloucestershire

    Name - Birth date - Occupation - Marital status
    William Wilkins - 01 Jun 1877 - Labourer - Married
    Florence Wilkins - 31 Oct 1881 - Unpaid Domestic Duties - Married
    Edna M Lambden (Wilkins) - 16 Jan 1920 - Corset Worker - Single
    William S Wilkins - 01 Feb 1922 - Labourer - Single

    CL1 likes this.
  6. Memory Tracks

    Memory Tracks Member

    Hi Owen ! You did well. I never noticed before this difference between the british and the american.
    CL1 likes this.
  7. Memory Tracks

    Memory Tracks Member

    Hi DBF ! I already had a look at this webpage and I'd like to get more information (as I wrote : pictures, company, circumstances of his death, why he was buried alone in Escoville ...). Anyway thanks a lot for your reply and your reactivity !
  8. Memory Tracks

    Memory Tracks Member

    Hi Cee !
    No, absolutely not. There must be another reason. I tried to ask for some of the inhabitants of Escoville, but, so far, in vain. In the area, only old people could provide information, and there are fewer and fewer of them... And it's the same problem with Ox and Bucks veterans. :-(
  9. Memory Tracks

    Memory Tracks Member

    Hi Harkness !
    Thanks for your help. It's interesting to know that Pte William S Wilkins was a labourer.
    What other leads could you suggest to me to answer my other questions?
    CL1 likes this.
  10. Cee

    Cee Senior Member Patron

    My understanding is if a soldier is initially buried in a French Churchyard (usually by local people) his body remains there and is not moved to a military cemetery post war. Something to look into. There are examples of other Airborne men buried in Churchyards who are still there to this day,

    Regards ...
    Ludo68000 likes this.
  11. Ludo68000

    Ludo68000 6th Airborne D-Day

    Hi Chuck, i fully agree with you.
    In very occasionnal cases the deaths are recorded in the village death record book held at the village hall (Mairie).
    This was the case in my home village, Saint Vaast En Auge.
    There , in June 1944, the mayor recorded the deaths of the 12 men buried in the local churchyard.
    I have not seen that in other villages yet about DDay fatal casualties.
    Cee likes this.
  12. dbf

    dbf Moderatrix MOD

    I realise you want more but it really does help to have as much detail as possible about the casualty available in the same place (including Army number and NOK). Not only for others who might be willing to conduct searches on your behalf but also for search engines which could attract relatives here - relatives who might have and be willing to share photos...

    Good luck.
    Owen likes this.
  13. Memory Tracks

    Memory Tracks Member

    You're absolutely right ... Thanks again for your help !!!
  14. Memory Tracks

    Memory Tracks Member

    Thank you for your insight Cee.
  15. Rfn1940

    Rfn1940 New Member

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