Wilson, John Norman


John Norman Wilson was born in the Punjab, India, the only son of Sir James Wilson of 19 Coates Gardens, Edinburgh and of 59 Cadogan Square, London. His mother was Anne Campbell Wilson, daughter of the Reverend Norman Macleod of Glasgow. He came to Winchester from Ardvreck School in Crieff, and in his last year was a Commoner Prefect and in Sixth Book.

He went up to Balliol College, Oxford in 1910 and at the outbreak of war applied for and obtained a commission in 6th (Perthshire) Battalion, Black Watch, a territorial battalion. By the end of April 1915 they had been assigned to 2 Highland Brigade of the Highland Division, which became the famous 51st Division. He went to France with his unit in May 1915 but was invalided home, suffering from fever, in January 1916 and did duty for a time with the Ministry of Munitions at the Gretna Factory. He returned to the front in March 1917 and was appointed to the command of his old company. In April of that year the battalion was briefed for the Arras offensive against the Hindenburg Line, which began on April 9th. 1/6th Black Watch was in divisional reserve on the first day of the attack, and were not called upon to engage in offensive operations until nearly a fortnight later. On April 23rd 1917 the unit finally participated in an attack. In May they moved to the Ypres area, and by the end of June were engaged in work under the supervision of the Royal Engineers on the defences of the banks of the Yser Canal. There, on July 2nd 1917, Wilson was mortally wounded whilst engaged in getting his men under cover from shell-fire. He died in a Canadian Casualty Clearing Station two days later, aged twenty-five (though the battalion war diary states that he died on July 3rd). He lies in grave XIII.A.5 of Lijssenthoek Military Cemetery.

War: World War 1

  • Surname: Wilson
  • Forenames or initials: John Norman
  • House: H
  • Years in School: 1905-1909
  • Rank: Captain
  • Regiment: Black Watch
  • Date of Birth: 11th December 1891
  • Date of Death: 4th July 1917
  • How Died: Died of wounds
  • Location in War Cloister: Outer D4
  • Decoration: NA
  • Burial Site: LIJSSENTHOEK MILITARY CEMETERY: Grave XIII.A 5