Private Joshua Skilton

Thank you to Warren Jackson and Jim Edwards for the following research.

Joshua Skilton was born in Hartley Wintney, Hampshire in September 1886. His father Frank had been born in Dorking and lived in Holmwood until about 1864 or 1865, when the family moved to Cove near Farnborough. Frank’s two oldest siblings were baptised in St Mary’s Church, Holmwood.

In the 1911 census Joshua was shown as a blacksmith’s mate living as a boarder in Cove.

Joshua enlisted in the Army in August 1914 in Aldershot, Hampshire. He was living in Camberley, Surrey at the time. Allocated number T/26613, he was in the Army Service Corps, with the rank of Driver. (This was for horses.) He arrived in France on 10th August 1914, so either he had joined as a regular before the war started or he was almost immediately sent to France on enlisting, with minimal military training, because of his expertise with horses. He was sent to the D Railhead Depot Unit of Supply, Army Service Corps, which would have been where materials were transferred from rail to horse drawn transport.

He married Lillian G. Skilton (nee Jacobs) in Farnham, Surrey in 1915. Lillian was born in Folkestone, Kent around 1887.

Joshua was later transferred to the The Queen’s Royal West Surrey Regiment, number L/11881, and was posted to 2nd/22nd Battalion, London Regiment, keeping the same number as this was regarded as part of the Queen’s. [Soldiers Died in the Great War and CWGC both give 1st/22nd. Medal rolls, Medal Index Card and Soldiers Effects give 2nd /22nd . 1st/22nd was in France but 2nd /22nd was in Egypt.]

He died from pneumonia in the General Hospital, Cairo, which was the main hospital in the region.

It is unknown where he was wounded, possibly in the battle for Amman, Jordan or Second Es Salt, Jordan. He died in Cairo on the 20th May 1918 from his wounds. Cairo had the main hospital for the region.

He was buried in the Cairo War Cemetery, grave reference O.174. Joshua was 31.

Joshua was awarded the 1914 Star, the British War Medal and the Victory Medal, although the BWM and VM were returned undeliverable.

His father and grandfather lived in South Holmwood.

Born Hartley Wintney, Hampshire
Son of Frank Skilton of South Holmwood
Husband of Lillian G. Skilton
Regiment 1st/22nd Battalion, Queens Royal West Surrey Regiment
Number L/1181
Date of Death 20th May 1918
Place of Death Cairo, Egypt
Cause of Death Died of wounds
Age 31
Cemetery Cairo War Memorial Cemetery, O. 174
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