WAKELAM, John Wilfred

Worcestershire. 13 November 1916

John Wakelam was the son of Henry and Mary Wakelam of Union Passage, Stourbridge. He attended Oldswinford C of E School and was a member of St. Mary's Choir and the Oldswinford scout troop. Before 1914 he was employed at the Great Western Railway engine shed. He volunteered in December 1914, probably under age, and joined the 9th (Service) Battalion of the Worcesters. They went in 1915 to the Dardanelles, where he suffered severe frostbite and wounds to the wrist. He returned to Britain and was then sent in September 1916 to France to join the 10th Battalion which was involved in the last stage of the battle of the Somme on the high ground overlooking Grandcourt. Exposed trenches in November 1916 meant constant bombardment while incessant rain meant any attack was difficult. Casualties were constant in this situation and Private John Wakelam was killed on the 13th November. He was 19 years of age and is buried in Puchevillers Cemetery (III C 2) and commemorated on the Stourbridge, Oldswinford church, St. Thomas's church, Stourbridge Methodist church and Oldswinford C of E School Memorials. In the 1920's the people of Grandcourt developed a link with Stourbridge and the two places exchanged visits on several occasions.

Commemorated at:

Stourbridge Mary Stevens Park

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Mary Stevens Park, Stourbridge, West Midlands, United Kingdom

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