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Riddle of Joe’s WW1 service is solved

Les Wilson with a photograph of his late father, Joe, who served in WW1. SG270114-227NG

Les Wilson with a photograph of his late father, Joe, who served in WW1. SG270114-227NG

An ancestry buff has brought joy to a Dunkirk veteran who believed he would never solve the mystery of his father’s WW1 service.

Sally Slade, a district councillor for Pinchbeck, read Les Wilson’s story in our sister paper, The Spalding Guardian, when all he knew about his father – John Joseph Wilson – was that he had “served in France”.

Sally found the WW1 serviceman’s records, discovering he was a Pioneer in The Royal Engineers, found out his Army number, and that he joined up aged 35 and was sent to the Front in 1917.

Sally said: “He was awarded the British Empire Medal and the Victory Medal. There is a receipt for the ‘riband’ for his medal.

“He is described as of ‘very good character’.”

John Joseph – known as Joe – had a medical in 1916 that certified him fit “for road laying in France”.

There’s much more detail that’s being passed on to Les via Ken Willows, who chairs Spalding branch of The Royal Anglian and The Royal Lincolnshire Regiment.

Les (92), who lives in Spalding, told us: “He got the MBE in 1946 but I didn’t know about the BEM. He was a good chap.”

 

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