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The history of Clophill, Bedfordshire, UK
Including historical descriptions, maps and statistical analysis.

World War One

John Wilden

DIED OF WOUNDS - 24TH MARCH 1918 - AGED 24


 

BORN IN CLOPHILL IN 1896.

PRIVATE 47637. 12TH BATTALION SUFFOLK REGIMENT. (FORMERLY 31313 BEDFORDSHIRE REGIMENT)

ENLISTED IN KETTERING.

COMMEMORATED IN BAC-DU-SUD BRITISH CEMETERY, BAILLEULVAL, PAS DE CALAIS, FRANCE.

In 1911 John lived with his parents Fredrick and Sarah, his brother George who also died in this war and is also commemorated on our memorial. (See his profile.) They lived in 7 The Green and John and his father worked as domestic gardeners.

In 1914 John married Alice Aldwinckle in the district of Kettering. At the time of his death they had a daughter called Vera. In 1921 Alice married Osborne Almond and moved to Sleaford.

John is also commemorated on the Cottingham village memorial.


The 12th Battalion fought in the Battle of St Quentin from 21st to 23rd March 1918 which was part of the First Battles of the Somme in 1918. At this battle 177,739 men of Britain and the Commonwealth were listed as either killed, wounded and missing, of these, just under 15,000 died. Of the 90,000 quoted as missing, a very large proportion were taken prisoner as the Germans advanced. John was injured on the day of their retreat under heavy enemy shelling.

The cemetery, in the village of Bailleulval, was created in March 1918 by the Casualty Clearing Stations, but when the German advance began at the end of that month, their place was taken by field ambulances of the units fighting on the Arras front. Bac-du-Sud British Cemetery contains 688 Commonwealth burials of the First World War.

The Ampthill News reported:- "We regret to record the death from wounds of Pte. John Wilden, Suffolk Regiment. News came that he had been wounded on March 24th, and later his wife received a telegram stating that he had died the same day. In February he was home for 14 days' leave after spending a year in France. He was a fine manly fellow of 23 years old, of a most cheerful disposition, and was beloved by all who new him. Much sympathy is felt for his widow and little child, and also for his parents."