SECOND LIEUTENANT GEOFFREY MILES WILKINSON
ROYAL FLYING CORPS
10TH OCTOBER 1917 AGE 19
BURIED: PONT-DU-HEM MILITARY CEMETERY, LA GORGUE, FRANCE
Miles Wilkinson's inscription says no more than his parents knew about his death; it repeats the official information they received. No one knew exactly what happened to him. However, the fact that he was originally buried by the Germans indicates that he was probably shot down by German artillery. Pilots on both sides did their best to identify the planes they brought down in order that they could claim them as victories - even making contact with the enemy squadron for confirmation. No one claimed Wilkinson as a victory so presumably he wasn't brought down by a plane
Wilkinson originally served with the Duke of Cornwall's Light Infantry and at the time of his death was attached to the Royal Flying Corps, but the War Graves Commission doesn't have a squadron number for him. He was gazetted second lieutenant in April 1917, reported to have been wounded in June 1917, obviously recovered, and died in unknown circumstances on 10 October.
Wilkinson's elder brother, Alan Machin Wilkinson, was a Royal Flying Corps an ace with 19 victories to his credit. He finished the war as a Group Captain with a DSO and bar - he was 27. Their younger brother, John Graham Wilkinson, a lieutenant in the Hampshire Regiment, was a member of Dunsterforce. This early special forces unit hoped to organise local resistance to Ottoman advances into the Caucasus and Central Asia. The region was a powder keg of competing Bolshevik, nationalist, Ottoman and British interests. Wilkinson was killed when Jangalis, Iranian nationalists, attacked a small detachment of British forces in the town of Rasht. Originally buried in Rasht Armenian Cemetery, his name is now commemorated on the Tehran War Memorial. He was 23.