Staff Sergeant Hugh Wilkinson


Hugh Wilkinson was born at Kilrea, County Londonderry, on 1 May 1882, one of eight children of blacksmith (later publican and farmer) Hugh Wilkinson and his wife Nancy (nee Campbell).

By 1901 Wilkinson was working at the blacksmith's trade with his father in Vow, County Antrim.

Between 1903 and 1908 Wilkinson enlisted in the North of Ireland Imperial Yeomanry. On 6 July 1908 at Newbridge the regiment was disbanded and re-formed as the North Irish Horse. Wilkinson was one of those who transferred to the new regiment – he was assigned No.26 on the North Irish Horse roll (later Corps of Hussars No.71002).

He rose to the rank of farrier sergeant, and by 1911 was employed full-time as staff sergeant.

Wilkinson embarked for France on 17 November 1915 as part of F Squadron.

The Ballymena Weekly Telegraph of 9 September 1916 reported that:

Sergeant Hugh Wilkinson, Vow, attached to the North Irish Horse, is home on leave from the trenches, and looks remarkably well despite his trying experiences.

When or if he returned to the regiment in France is not known.

In the latter part of 1917 Wilkinson was awarded a Special Reserve Long Service and Good Conduct Medal.

He was transferred to Class Z, Army Reserve, on 28 February 1919.