WILKINSON, James William

Rank: 
Lance Sergeant (later Lieutenant)
Regiment/Corps: 
Bedfordshire and Hertfordshire Regiment
Service: 
Army
Service number: 
5957086 and 324965
Honours & Awards: 
Lance Sergeant James Wilkinson, No. 3 Commando, was awarded the Military Medal in recognition of gallant and distinguished services during the Italian campaign [1][1A].
Recommendation
"L/Sgt Wilkinson was 2 i/c of a patrol of one Officer and six OR's which was landed near Bova Marina on the night of 27/28 Aug. 43 with the object of going to Reggio and reporting enemy activities with a wireless set. His Officer left him in a defensive position and with one L/Cpl went to do a reconnaissance. While he was away the Sgt's party came under rifle fire, so he moved to join his officer but coming again under small arms fire had to extricate his party. The officer never reappeared.
While making towards Melito on the 29 Aug. they came under fire. Seeing only 4 Italians they returned it driving them off and capturing their food, water and kit. This helped the party to carry on.
On the third day the wireless failed and on the fourth day, the Sgt was warned by a peasant that Carabinieri were searching the farms so he moved to San Pantaleone. During the afternoon he was able to observe and avoid two parties of German Infantry.
The next six days he kept his patrol concealed in a farm as one of them was sick and on the 6th Sep. succeeded in joining our own army.
It was entirely due to the efforts of this N.C.O. that this party of two Commando signallers and two R.A. Signallers were able to survive a week with little water and food and no exact knowledge of when the British Invasion was intended to take place." [2].
 
  • 21 July 1944  granted an emergency commission [3].
  • Served in No. 3 Commando and No. 6 Commando [4].
  • 6 December 1950 from Emergency Commission to be Lieutenant, Bedfordshire and Hertfordshire Regiment. [5].
  • March 1957 employed as Security Officer with the Kramat Tin Dredging Ltd. (Banir Section), Tapah, Perak, Malaya [4].
Sources
[1] London Gazette 36327, page 257.
[1A] Commando - Memoirs of a Fighting Commando in WW2, author Bdr. Durnford-Slater.
[2] National Archives file WO373/4/158.
[3] London Gazette 36711, page 4377.
[4] Commando Association newsletter 24 page 9 issued March 1957.
[5] London Gazette 39082, page 6064.
 

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