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Willie WIGGAN

Main CPGW Record

Surname: WIGGAN

Forename(s): Willie

Place of Birth: Skipton, Yorkshire

Service No: 41660

Rank: Private

Regiment / Corps / Service: Prince of Wales’s Own (West Yorkshire Regiment)

Battalion / Unit: 17th (Service) Battalion. (2nd Leeds)

Division: 35th Division

Age: 26

Date of Death: 1917-08-31

Awards: ---

CWGC Grave / Memorial Reference: Pier and Face 2 A 2 C and 2 D.

CWGC Cemetery: ---

CWGC Memorial: THIEPVAL MEMORIAL

Non-CWGC Burial: ---

Local War Memorial(s): Not Listed (View Names Not Listed on a Local War Memorial)

Additional Information:

Willie Wiggan was the son of John Richard and Eliza Wiggan, née Sugden. John was born at Hebden and Eliza at Lockwood, Huddersfield, Yorkshire. Willie was related to Private Harry Wiggan (28743) (q.v.) and Private John Wiggan (1263) (q.v.).

1891 Skipton, Yorkshire Census: 1, Alexandra Ville - Willie Wigan, aged 3 years, born Skipton, son of John R. and Eliza Wiggan.

1901 Skipton, Yorkshire Census: 8, Walton Street - Willie Wiggan, aged 13 years, born Skipton, son of John and Eliza Wiggan.

1911 Nelson, Lancashire Census: 86, John Street - Willie Wiggan, aged 22 years, born Skipton, Yorkshire, son of Eliza Wiggan (married).

British Army WW1 Medal Rolls Index Cards: Pte Willie Wiggan, 41660, West Yorkshire Regiment.

The 15th (Service) Bn Prince of Wales's Own (West Yorkshire Regiment) (1st Leeds), informally known as the Leeds Pals, were amalgamated with the 17th (Service) Bn Prince of Wales's Own (West Yorkshire Regiment) (2nd Leeds) to form the 15th/17th Battalion on the 7 December 1917.

Data Source: Craven’s Part in the Great War - original CPGW book entry

View Entry in CPGW Book

Entry in West Yorkshire Pioneer Illustrated War Record: ---

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Private Willie WIGGAN

Private Willie WIGGAN

Regiment / Corps / Service Badge: Prince of Wales’s Own (West Yorkshire Regiment)

Regiment / Corps / Service Badge: Prince of Wales’s Own (West Yorkshire Regiment)

Divisional Sign / Service Insignia: 35th Division

Divisional Sign / Service Insignia: 35th Division

Data from Soldiers Died in the Great War 1914 - 1919 Records

Soldiers Died Data for Soldier Records

Surname: WIGGAN

Forename(s): Willie

Born:

Residence: Nelson, Lancs

Enlisted: Halifax, Yorks

Number: 41660

Rank: Private

Regiment: Prince of Wales's Own (West Yorkshire Regiment)

Battalion: 17th Battalion

Decorations:

Died Date: 31/08/17

Died How: Killed in action

Theatre of War: France & Flanders

Notes:

Data from Commonwealth War Graves Commission Records

CWGC Data for Soldier Records

Surname: WIGGAN

Forename(s): Willie

Country of Service: United Kingdom

Service Number: 41660

Rank: Private

Regiment: West Yorkshire Regiment (Prince of Wales's Own)

Unit: 17th Bn.

Age: 26

Awards:

Died Date: 31/08/1917

Additional Information: Son of the late John R. and Eliza Wiggan.

View Additional Text

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‘Burnley Express’ (7 September 1918)

(Kindly supplied by the website: Burnley in the Great War)

NELSON SOLDIER KILLED

Missing since August 31st, 1917, Pte. W. Wiggan, West Yorkshire Regt., son of Mr. and Mrs. Wiggan, 86, John-street Nelson, is now presumed to have been killed on that date. He was formerly a carter at Messrs. Uttley’s.

THE WEST YORKSHIRE REGIMENT IN THE WAR 1914-1918, Vol. II, by Everard Wyrall

17th Battalion.

For the West Yorkshiremen it was a hard summer, but the days and nights spent in work on the defences were later to benefit the troops who held them when the heavy hostile offensive of 1918 began. There is little of outstanding interest in the diaries until 31st August, when the 17th West Yorkshires sustained heavy losses in a small enemy attack launched against the Knoll.

At 4-50 a.m. the enemy placed a very heavy trench-mortar and artillery barrage on the Knoll and Gillemont Farm. Under cover of the bombardment the enemy rushed the Knoll, entering the trenches on either flank. The situation was not clear for some time, all communications forward of Battalion Headquarters being severed from the start. The enemy obtained possession of the Knoll almost immediately. At 9 a.m. the Divisional guns were turned on the Knoll, lifting to a box barrage around it at 9-20 a.m. One company of the 17th West Yorkshires then counter-attacked but was unable to retake the lost ground. In the afternoon patrols, sent up the communication trenches, definitely located enemy posts in the trenches on the summit of the Knoll, but under orders from Divisional Headquarters further attacks, for the time being, were cancelled. The Battalion Diary of the 17th West Yorkshires records that their casualties were: Officers, two killed (names not given) five missing, six wounded (three at duty); other ranks, seven killed, fifty-six wounded, fifty-three missing.

[Willie Wiggan was killed in action on the 31 August 1917.]

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Craven Herald and Wensleydale Standard Logo

13 September 1918

Former Skiptonian's Fate – Private Willie Wiggan, West Yorkshire’s

Mr. and Mrs. John Wiggan, of 86 John Street, Nelson, who formerly lived at Bold Venture Terrace, Skipton, have been informed that their son. Private Willie Wiggan, West Yorkshire Regiment, is now officially presumed to have been killed in the fighting near Guillemont on August 31st, 1917, since which date he had previously been reported missing. Twenty-eight years of age, deceased was a farm labourer at Nelson before joining up in September, 1916, and he had been in France since December, 1916. He had many relatives and friends in this district, and it is a notable fact that the late Private C. L. Tranter, of Skipton, and he joined the same regiment, trained together, and were reported missing on the same date. Should this meet the eye of any chums of Private Wiggan, who can throw any further light on his fate, his parents would be grateful if they will communicate with them.

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West Yorkshire Pioneer Logo

20 September 1918

Skipton Man Killed

Pte. Willie Wiggan, West Yorkshire Regiment, of 86, John Street, Nelson, and formerly of Bold Venture, Skipton, was officially presumed to have been killed on Aug. 31st, 1917. He was 28 years of age, and was formerly employed as a farm labourer at Nelson.

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