Royal Engineers

Born in Bishop Middleham, Durham circa 1853 to John and Hannah Wilson 27 in 1875 – so 1858 born??? Prior to joining the Army he is recorded as a Cabinet Maker. He is 20 in September 1872 placing his Date of Birth at 1852. He is described as 5 feet 6 3/4 inches high, fresh complexion, hazel eyes, brown Hair and no distinguishing features. 1871 Aged 18, Living in Lain Row, Trimdon Married wife Elizabeth (nee Elford) at Halifax, Nova Scotia on 10th November 1884 during his posting (1881-86) At the time of the 1911 census the family were living at 47 Leicester Square, London W.C. With them was Maud Elizabeth Morgan Neice from Halifax, Nova Scotia and two Servant Page Boys Walter Macfarlane and William Marshal, 17 and 15 respectively. John is working as a Club Steward at the Oxford & Cambridge Musical Club with Elizabeth and the two servants. This club, founded in 1899, was situated at the same address and it moved to 6 Bedford Square in 1914. It suggests that the family were living in. 1903 Living at 74 Wimpole Road as a Clerk of Works. Family Elizabeth Military Milestones: • 12th September 1872 Attestation (for 12 Years Army Service) at Woolwich. Medical, signed fit for duty. • 12th September 1872 Sapper, Royal Engineers, Chatham Kent, Home Service • 1874 Passed exams in Photography at Sch. Military Engineering • 23rd May 1874 Posted to Kergulens Land • 19th June 1875 Posted for Home Service • 6th October 1875 Appointed Lance Corporal, Promoted 1 April 1876 (perhaps substantive) • 1876 Passed exams on Construction at Sch. Military Engineering • 20th October 1876 at Dublin • 1st May 1877 Promoted to Corporal • 9th May 1877 Promoted to Sergeant (wow..8 days) • 30th October 1880 Posted to Bermuda • 1st July 1881 Promoted to Colour Sergeant (Foreman of Works) • 12th November 1881 Posted to Halifax • 30th September 1884 Promoted to Company Sergeant Major (Foreman of Works) • 11th June 1886 Posted for Home Service • 16th June 1886 Posted to Dublin • 27th June 1887 Promoted to QMSergeant (Foreman of Works) • 21st June 1892 Permission to continue service beyond 21 years. • 10th February 1894 Posted to Egypt • 25th February 1894 Posted to Cairo • 4th March 1899 Aboard SS Veoona • 18th March 1899 Posted to South Africa (Second Boer War) • 19th March 1899 Posted to Limerick, S.A. • 16th June 1900 Posted to Kimberley, S.A. o Cape Colony • 18th March 1899 Posted for Home Service • 24th September 1901 Completed 29years 13 days. Discharged at Chatham He rejoined the Army for War Service (Great War of 1914-1918) (aged 62) • 2nd September 1915 at London. Attested as Pioneer 9th Labour Battalion (Promoted CSM) 7 shillings per day. Regimental Number: 294322 • 1st October 1915, Embarked for Expeditionary Force in France • 31st July 1917 Transferred to the Labour Corps Regimental Number 120302 • 28th September 1917 Disembarkation from France • 31st July 1918 Discharged being no longer physically fit for War Service, at Southern Command Discharge Centre, Winchester. Character described as Very Good Hegoes to Chelsea Royal Hospital 12th July 1918 to be discharged. Regimental Number: 11771 Awards: • Long Service and Good Conduct Medal 1891 • Queens South Africa Medal 1899-1902 • Kings South Africa Medal 1901 • British War Medal • Victory Medal • Silver War Badge Masonic Milestones: • L1424 E.C. Brownrigg Lodge of Unity, Chatham (until 1878??) • Initiated: 8th December 1875 • Passed: 12th January 1876 • Raised: 9th February 1876 • Grand Lodge Certificate 25th July 1876 • L291 S.C (Celtic Lodge of Edinburgh & Leith) • L730 I.C. Dublin Garrison 15th January 1890 – 20th November1899 (resigned) • L2976 E.C. Comrades Lodge 6th August 1903 When joining Brownrigg Lodge in 1875 he was a Lance Corporal not a Corporal. Perhaps he hammed it up a bit Note a John Wilson joins Essex Masters Lodge in 1913 from 2432. He is an Engineer (Upminster)