Horace George Wilkinson was born in Burton-on-Trent, Staffordshire, England on 27th January 1895.
The 1891 Census on Ancestry.co.uk shows that the Wilkinson family was living at 200, Varlow Street, Burton-on-Trent, England. Head of the household was John Wilkinson aged 37. He had been born in Sutton, Nottinghamshire. He was a Musician by trade. His wife, Elizabeth (nee Tempest) who was 28 years of age was born in Burton-on-Trent. They had three children, all born in Burton-on-Trent. They were John W. aged 9, Francis A 6 and Percy G. age 9 months. There was also a visitor to this address, named Joseph Tempest age 24, probably a relation of Mrs Wilkinson. Horace was not yet born.
John Wilkinson died in 1894 age 40.
Ten years on in 1901 we find the the Wilkinson family at 199 Varlow Street, Burton-on-Trent. Head of the household, Elizabeth Wilkinson was 37 and a Widow. She was a Dressmaker by trade. Three children were listedat home. They were, John W. aged 19 an Apprentice Joiner by trade. Daughter Frances A. was 16 a Pupil Teacher attending Board School. Percy G. was 10 and Horace G. was 6.
The 1911 census shows that the Wilkinson family had moved to 423, Anglesey Road, Burton-on-Trent and Elizabeth Wilkinson age 47 had two children at home. They were Francis Amy age 26 an Assistant School Mistress with the Municipal Education Board and Horace George Wilkinson age 16 an Assistant Librarian with the Borough Council.
In May 1913 Elizabeth Wilkinson emigrated to Canada with two of her children, Francis and Horace. They travelled from Liverpool to Montreal. Horace G. was an Electrician and Francis was a Teacher.(Outward Passenger Lists on Ancestry.co.uk)
Horace’s army records tell us that he was drafted into the 68th battalion of the Canadian-Over-Seas Expeditionery Force on 9th October 1918 at Vancouver , British Columbia. He listed his trade as a Steel Ship Builder. He was Single and he named as next of kin, his Mother Mrs. Elizabeth Wilkinson of 1203 15th Avenue E. Vancouver, British Columbia. Horace’s religion was Methodist. On his medical form he is described as being 5ft 7ins tall with a medium complexion, grey eyes and brown hair.
After basic training in Canada, Horace embarked for England from Vancouver aboard the S.S. Themistocles on 10th September 1918, arriving in London on 25th September 1918 when he was posted to Bordon Army Camp. As hostilities were coming to a close, Horace was transferred to Kinmel Army Camp in Rhyl, North Wales. Sadly Horace contracted Bronchial Pneumonia, and was admitted to the Canadian General Hospital where he died on 2nd November 1918.
Horace left all his last Effects to his Mother Elizabeth who was living at 2043, Whyte Ave, Vancouver, British Columbia. She also received his medal, Memorial Plaque and Scroll.
(From Library of Canada Archives)
Kinmel Park Camp was a segregation camp used to house Canadian Soldiers awaiting repatriation to Canada after the end of WW1. Unfortunately the conditions at that time were extremely harsh with a lack of every kind of commodity, the camp was overcrowded and the services were poor, there were shortages of clothing, food and blankets. As a result of this situation, a vast number of servicemen and women became ill and many succumbed to the Influenza Epidemic or complications associated with this infection.
Horace George Wilkinson is buried in St. Margaret’s Cemetery, Bodelwyddan.
He is commemorated on the Canadian Virtual War Memorial.