Cobham, Wilfred

Wilfred Cobham, Corporal 50744, 10th Bn. Cheshire Regiment
Killed in action 24th March 1918 in France

 

EARLY LIFE

Wilfred Cobham was born in Macclesfield and baptised at St Michael’s Church, Macclesfield on 30 July 1890, the son of Abigail and Samuel Thomas Cobham, a grocer’s assistant. In 1891, ten-month-old Wilfred was living at 64 Pickford St, Macclesfield with his parents and siblings Emily (18), Hannah (16), Bertha (14), Eleanor (11), Abraham (9), Fanny Louisa (7), John William (5) and Walter (3).

When the census was taken in April 1911, twenty-one year old Wilfred was employed as a pork butcher and still living at 64 Pickford St with his parents and siblings Eleanor (31), John William (25), and George (18). Later that year, on 1 October 1911, he married Janet Beech at St Michael’s Church, Macclesfield. The couple had one son, Arthur, born on 1 May 1913, and lived at 20 Duke Street, Macclesfield.

 

MILITARY SERVICE

Wilfred enlisted in Macclesfield on 19 November 1915, joining the Shropshire Light Infantry with service number 24413. He stated that he was 25 years old, lived at 20 Duke St, Macclesfield, and was a pork butcher. He was described as 5 feet 6¾ inches tall and had a 34 inch chest.

After training, Wilfred was drafted overseas on 27 February 1917, sailing from Southampton to France. Three weeks later he was transferred to the 10th Cheshire Regiment.

On 17 June 1917 Wilfred was wounded in the back and right arm by a shell, and transferred back to Rouen via Boulogne for hospital treatment. After his recovery, he returned to his battalion on 26 September 1917. In November of the same year he was treated by the nearby field ambulance for a hernia.

Wilfred was allowed one week’s leave to the UK on 28 January 1918, returning to his battalion on 5 February. He was reported to be wounded and missing on 24 March 1918, and it was later assumed that he was killed in action on or around that date.

 

COMMEMORATION

Corporal Wilfred Cobham is commemorated on Panel Ref. Bay 5 and 6 of the Arras Memorial. The Commonwealth War Graves Commission holds casualty details for Corporal Wilfred Cobham, and he is listed on the Imperial War Museum’s Lives of the First World War website.

Locally, Corporal Wilfred Cobham is commemorated on the Macclesfield Park Green, Town Hall and St Michael’s Church war memorials.

 

NOTES

 

SOURCES

Diocese of Chester Parish Baptisms (Find My Past): St Michael’s Church, Macclesfield
Census (England & Wales): 1891, 1911
Cheshire Parish Marriage Registers: St Michael’s Church, Macclesfield
WWI British Army Service Records 1914-1920
WWI British Army Registers of Soldiers’ Effects
Lives of the First World War website

Commonwealth War Graves Commission website


Comments

Cobham, Wilfred — 3 Comments

  1. Wilfred was my Great Grandfather. My family and I would be keen to contact any of his sibling’s descendants

  2. Hi Gail,

    lovely to hear from you! My Dad (Wilfred’s Grandson) and I spent the last week,9th to 14th November, in France and Belgium. We stayed in the town of Arras and travelled around many sites. We remembered Wilfred and spent a great deal of time discerning from the battalion war diary and eye witness records that he died in a battle between the villages of Fremicourt and Vaulx-Vraucourt. The 10th Cheshire’s were holding back a push from the Germans coming from the direction of VV to F. Wilfred’s officers called in a barrage to repel the German push but sadly the shells fell short and into our own trenches. The war diary reports heavy losses as a result and we believe that this is were and how Wilfred fell!
    We spent time in the fields between the two towns and are fairly confident we walked on the ground where he fell.
    There is yet more research to be done as two other battalions are mentioned in the diary and it may be that their war diaries contain more detail. If you are interested to know what information we have and find out please let me know. Also, if you have any other information that would be very helpful. The website owner will send you my email address so you can contact me if you wish.

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