Harry Cooper Wilsdon was born in Thame in 1898 and baptised at St Mary’s on 26th June 1898 at the same time as brother George (age 9) and sisters, Elizabeth Mary (age 8), Nellie (age 6) and Elsie Harriet (age 3). They were all the children of Robert Thomas, a carpenter, and Harriet.
Robert Wilsdon married Harriet Lemming at St Mary’s Thame on 25th September 1878, but by 1901 the family were living in Southall, Middlesex.
In September 1914 (at age 16) Harry joined the Middlesex Regt and served in the 13th Battalion under command of 73rd Brigade, 24th Division. They moved to the South Downs and went to billets in Hove in December 1914 and thence to Shoreham in May 1915 and Pirbright in June. On 2nd September 1915 the Battalion landed at Boulogne.
They served at various locations on the Western Front and on 31st August 1916 moved into trenches at Memetz on the Somme when a German attack was launched. It was during that attack that G/13020 Private Harry Wilsdon was killed at only 18 years old.
Harry Wilsdon has no known grave and is commemorated on the Thiepval Memorial on the Somme.
He is remembered on St John’s Church Memorial in Southall, Middlesex, but has currently no memorial in Thame.
The Thame Remembers Cross was delivered to Thiepval Memorial, Somme, France on 31st October 2015 by Cllr Linda Emery (Deputy Mayor of Thame) & Cllr Helena Fickling