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Peter Henry Atkinson was born in Higher Walton, Lancashire in 1888. He was the son of Peter Henry and Margaret Ann Atkinson of 13, Lark Hill, Higher Walton.

By the time of the 1911 census the family consisted of;

[Name (Age), Occupation]
Peter Henry Atkinson (59), Labourer
Margaret Ann Atkinson (53), Unemployed
Mary Ann Atkinson (24), Ringspinner
Peter Henry Atkinson (22), Mulespinner
Ivy Atkinson (19), Dyer
Thomas Atkinson (18), Mulespinner
James Atkinson (9)
Margaret Ann Atkinson (1)

* There was another sibling, Guy S Atkinson who has not been found in the 1911 census.

Shortly after war had been declared, Peter enlisted as part of Kitchener’s Army at Preston. He joined the 6th (Service) Battalion of the Loyal North Lancashire Regiment with the number 12651.

Peter had no military experience and had been working as a spinner at Moon’s Mill. He was at this time 26 years old and was living with his parents.

The medical officer described him as being 5ft 8in tall, weighing 132lbs and of good physical development. He had blue eyes and brown hair.

Peter first got into trouble during the run up to Christmas 1914. He was found drunk and creating a disturbance in barracks at 2100 hrs on 22nd December. He was confined to barracks for 10 days thus spending his first Christmas in uniform with restrictions in privileges.

Between 6th and 11th March 1915 Peter was absent without leave. He reported himself to the Commander of the Guard at Fulwood Barracks on 11th and was punished by forfeiting six days pay. When training at Blackdown camp the following month he took another unauthorised four days off and for this was confined to barracks for six days and forfeited another six days pay.

On 15th June 1915 he sailed overseas to Gallipoli. The main deployment of the 6th Battalion wasn’t until the 4th August 1915 so it is likely he was part of the transport party. He later joined the Battalion’s ‘A’ Company.

On 17th July 1915 he sustained a gun wound to his back. The following photo and caption appeared in the local newspaper shortly thereafter.

atkkinson-p

PTE. P. ATKINSON, WALTON

Private Peter Atkinson (26) of the Loyal North Lancashire Regiment, whose home address is 13, Lark Hill, Higher Walton has been wounded in the Dardanelles. Prior to his enlistment on August 30th 1914 he was employed as a spinner at Moon’s Mill.

In early 1916  the 6th Battalion were evacuated from Gallipoli to Egypt; and from there at Port Said he sailed with them on 13th February 1916 to Basra, Mesopotamia where they landed on 6th March.

It was during this time, 25th February 1916 a Miss E Reynolds of 2 Richmond Street, London Road, Preston wrote a letter asking about his whereabouts. She was concerned that she hadn’t heard from Peter since the 21st November 1915.

His leadership skills had been rewarded by his appointment to Lance Corporal in November 1915 and he was promoted to Corporal was on 15th July 1916.

On 5th April 1916 in Mespotamia he was, for a second time, wounded in action (no further details).

Corporal Peter Henry Atkinson was killed on Christmas Day, 25th December 1916, in the area of the Hai-bridgehead. He had served for 2 years and 116 days. Peter’s body was not recovered from the battlefield and as such he is remembered on the Basra Memorial in modern day Iraq.

His medals, the 1914/15 Star, British War Medal and Victory Medal; were dispatched to his mother, Mrs Margaret Ann Atkinson who had by now moved to 7, Darwin Street, Higher Walton. She would also have received the Memorial Plaque and Scroll in recognition of her son’s sacrifice.

Rank: Corporal
Service No: 12651
Date of Death: 25/12/1916
Regiment/Service: The Loyal North Lancashire Regiment, 6th Bn.
Memorial: BASRA MEMORIAL

* The CWGC incorrectly list his surname as Aitkinson.

Paul McCormick
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Paul McCormick

Paul McCormick is the creator and administrator for the Loyal North Lancashire Regiment website. Since 2010 he has been researching the soldiers that served during the First World War and sharing their stories on his website. You can contact Paul through the website 'Contact Me' page or on Twitter and Facebook.
Paul McCormick
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One Response to 12651 CPL. P. ATKINSON. L.N.LAN.R

  1. His brother Guy is in the 1911 Census, but his name has been mis-transcribed as Ivy!
    Peter is also the brother-in-law of Bamber Bridge VC recipient John McNamara. John was married to Peter’s sister Mary Ann in 1912.

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