Topic: Kenneth David Wilson

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Kenneth David Wilson (Service No. 28929) was a First World War soldier with links to the Waltham area

Born on the 8th of September 1894 in Te Pirita, Rakaia in Selwyn District, Canterbury, Kenneth David Wilson was a country farm hand. He enjoyed working the land with his extended family. Once war broke out in Europe in 1914, he was a young man eager for adventure. Although a battle with influenza delayed his departure, he left for Europe on the 11th of October 1916. He travelled to Plymouth in Devon, England via the Cape of Good Hope in South Africa, surely amazed by what he saw.

By February 1917, he  was already in France, fighting for his country. He joined the courageous soldiers in the 2nd Battalion in Northern France. One of his first battles was at Etaples-sur-Mer. This location was well known for it's harsh treatment and conditions for the resident soldiers, which unfortunately later led to the now infamous mutiny in September 1917.

At the end of March 917, Private Wilson was dispatched to Camiers, France. The flat lands surrounding Camiers was utilised as a major base depot by the British Army. His Battalion was well stocked as they fought through the fields of Northern France towards Belgium.

The "Central Powers" of Germany, Austria, Hungary and Italy had gained early victories on the main European Battlefields of Germany, France and Belgium (including controlling the high ground strategic location of the ridge of Messines, Belgium in 1915). Until a complex system of trenches made by the Serbian, Russian, French and British allies halted the "Central Powers" advance, the Western front line hardly moved for three years, despite millions of casualties and courageous fighting.

One of those brave casualties was Private Kenneth David Wilson. He was instantly killed in action when a shell hit him on the back of the head on the 14th of June 1917. He was 22 years old.

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Kenneth David Wilson

First Names:Kenneth David
Last Name:Wilson
Place of Birth:Te Pirita, Rakaia