Lieutenant Alfred Wilkinson
Alfred Wilkinson from Leigh enlisted in the Royal Great Scots in 1914. He was transferred to the Seaforth Highlanders and finally the 1/5th Battalion, Manchester Regiment who he was sent to France with in July 1916. He was awarded the Victoria Cross for outstanding bravery for his part in the attack on Marou, France. On 20 October 1918, he volunteered to deliver a message despite having seen four comrades killed attempting to do so. The mission involved exposure to heavy machine-gun and shell fire for 600 yards. According to the London Gazette ‘He showed magnificent courage and complete indifference to danger, thinking only of the needs of his company and entirely disregarding any consideration for personal safety.’ Alfred was successful in the action and survived the war.
Alfred Wilkinson died from gas poisoning at Bickershaw Colliery in 1940.