Private G(eorge). WHEELDON (?)


Regiment/Service:
[Possibly] King's Shropshire Light Infantry
(Formerly: 3/6th Sherwood Foresters
   (Notts and Derby Regiment))
Unit:
[Possibly] 5th Battalion
Service Number:
[Possibly] 26187
(Formerly: Sherwood Foresters
   (Notts and Derby Regiment))
(Formerly: 5096 Sherwood Foresters
   (Notts and Derby Regiment))
Date of Death:
n/k [No evidence that this man was killed in action - i.e. Medal
      Index Card NOT endorsed; No CWGC record]
Age:
n/k
Cemetery / Memorial:
n/a
Grave Number:
n/a
Awards:
n/a

Personal History:
The only likely person on the 1911 Census (RG 14/21232) is 31 year old  "George Wheeldon" (House painter) living at 19 Bennett Street, Buxton, with his wife Martha Ellen and their sons, George William and Ernest. Whilst this man did enlist it seems he survived the War and died in Buxton in the June quarter 1952. George William, the son, was clearly too young.

Another possibility is George William, born in 1871, the son of George and Elizabeth Wheeldon (Farmers) of Hopping Farm, Earl Sterndale, Buxton. He had three younger brothers, Henry Tyson, Edwin Oswald and Jasper Allison [see Footnote below], and three younger sisters, Rose Anna, Alice Gillian and Miriam. (1891 Census RG 12/2779) However, records indicate that George William died in 1960, in Buxton.

The 1901 Census (RG 13/3270) has a 39 year old George living at 2 Acton Place, Fairfield, aged 39, with a 1 year old son, also George. Logic would suggest that these two Georges were too old and too young respectively for active service in the Great War. In 1911 (Census RG 14/21242) George Wheeldon, of Fairfield, had a son, also George, but the son was only 6 years old. [see 'Buxton Advertiser' quote below]

Military History:
There are no obvious records on the CWGC Database or on SDGW database. There are four casualties named "G. Wheeldon" on both databases, all of whom have a second initial, and none have any obvious connection to Buxton. However, 'The Buxton Advertiser' of the 5th August 1916 contained the following report:

"Pte. George Wheeldon Killed in Action: News has been received from the War Office by Mr and Mrs George Wheeldon, of 13 Alma Street, Fairfield, of the death of their eldest son, Pte. Wheeldon. He was killed whilst gallantly fighting in action. He was in the great push [Battle of the Somme] when many comrades went under whilst bravely doing their duty."

However, the list of "Soldiers Died in the Great War, 1914-1919" has no "G(eorge) Wheeldon"  or "Whieldon" named as having been killed in action in July 1916. Also, in view of the address quoted, it might be expected that George's name would be included on the Fairfield Church Memorial, but only Samuel and Norman's names are included.

The name of "George Wheeldon" [see above] is on the Roll of Honour on the Bennett Street Memorial, but he is not listed as one of those killed in action. There are a number of Medal Index Cards bearing the name "George Wheeldon", with a number in the local Notts and Derby Regiment. Without more information, however, it is not possible to identify with which Regiment he served. The 1911 Census (RG 14/21242) has a 'George' with a father named 'George', as in the Advertiser quote, but he was only born in 1907.

What is apparent, though, is that this is not the casualty commemorated on the Buxton Memorial.

A soldier of the 5th Battalion, Kings Shropshire Light Infantry, Pt. 26187 George Wheeldon, formerly 5096, Notts & Derby Regiment.  [see Footnote below] is known that this man was wounded three times in 1918. He was wounded between the 31st January and the 6th February 1918 with either the 5th or 7th Battalions. [The 5th Battalion, Kings Shropshire Light Infantry, spent its last tour of the trenches from the 27th January to the 2nd February before being disbanded.]

George was wounded again between the 21st and 24th March 1918, serving with the 7th Battalion, and wounded once more between the 21st and 23rd August 1918, but there is no indication on his Medal Index Card that he succumbed to his wounds. [91 men of the K.S.L.I. whose surnames began with "W" died between 23rd August 1918 and the end of 1921, but could be misinterpreted as "G. Wheeldon".]

Another possibility was Private 1364 George John Wheeldon who enlisted for four years on the 23rd March 1911, at Buxton, in 'C' Company, 6th Battalion, Notts & Derby Regiment, aged 18 yrs 7 mths, according to his Service Papers. He was born in the June quarter 1892 and after enlisting in the Territorial Force Battalion, attended annual training camps at Scarborough in 1911; Albermarle Park in 1912, and Clumber Park in 1913.

The 1911 Census (RG 14/21241) shows Thomas and Elizabeth Blackwell living at 45 Dale Road, Buxton with their daughter , Mabel Edith Blackwell (aged 9) and George Ollerenshaw (stepson of Thomas), aged 18, born in Uttoxeter, Staffordshire. [In the June quarter 1900, Thomas married Elizabeth HUDSON]. Thomas and Elizabeth are named on George's Papers as his parents.

He was mobilised at the outbreak of War on the 5th August 1914 and was promoted to Lance Corporal on the 12th August 1915. George was posted to France on the 27th February 1915 and re-engaged for the 'Duration of the War' on the 7th November 1915. George returned home and transferred to the 3/6th Battalion on the 13th January 1916. Six weeks later he was promoted to Corporal and returned to France, arriving on the 4th March 1916.
On the First Day of the Battle of the Somme (1st July 1916) George received a Gun Shot Wound to the Right arm, which had to be amputated. He returned to England on the 8th July and was finally discharged on the 11th April 1917. He served a total of 6 years 19 days with the Colours.

At some stage George changed his name to serve under the alias of Pt 24016 George Ollerenshaw - at least w.e.f. 25th October 1916 when he was sent on furlough at 10 Sunny Brow Road, Gorton, Manchester. This would have been his home with his wife, Margaret (née Jones). They married at Chorlton, Manchester in the June quarter 1916. The records show his name as "Ollerenshaw or Wheildon".

George was in receipt of the "K.C. Medal No. 9362" as well as W.W.1 trio. [KC refers to Kings Certificate and this certificate accompanied the Silver War Badge (no. 188912).] Despite his wounds there is no obvious record of this George dying of his wounds in the early 1920s, i.e. before the names being added to the Buxton War Memorial. This is even less likely when it could be from birth records that, under the surname "Wheeldon", George and Margaret had four children, in the Chorlton area, between 1917 and 1924.

However, none of these relate to the notification in 'The Buxton Advertiser' of the 5th August 1916, quoted above.


Footnote:
· As well as "G. Wheeldon", there is also a "J. Wheeldon" on the Buxton Memorial for whom no trace can be found.

· Another soldier of the 5th Battalion, Kings Shropshire Light Infantry, was Pt. 26187 George Wheeldon, formerly 5096, Notts & Derby Regiment.
  Another Buxton casualty of the 5th Battalion, Kings Shropshire Light Infantry, was Pt. 26188 Jasper Allison Wheeldon, formerly 5098, Notts &
  Derby Regiment. As the Service Numbers of these two men are so close, it is possible that this is Jasper's older brother, although Jasper's
  brother, George William, was born in 1871, so would have been 43 at the outbreak of the War. As shown above, if he served in the War he survived
  until 1960.

  The surname 'Wheeldon' was quite common in the Buxton/Hartington area at the time. If not Jasper's brother, this George must have been a
  relative of Jasper, as quite clearly they enlisted in the same Battalion on the same date.

Commemorated on:
An unknown grave
poppy