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Canadian Virtual War Memorial

Robert Wilkinson

In memory of:

Artificer Engineer Robert Wilkinson

December 12, 1916

Military Service


Service Number:

16065

Age:

32

Force:

Navy

Unit:

Royal Canadian Navy

Division:

H.M.C.S. Grilse

Additional Information


Son of James Edward and Jane Wilkinson, of Roker, Sunderland, England.

Commemorated on Page 182 of the First World War Book of Remembrance. Request a copy of this page.

Burial Information


Cemetery:

HALIFAX MEMORIAL
Nova Scotia, Canada

Grave Reference:

Panel 1.

Location:

The HALIFAX MEMORIAL in Nova Scotia's capital, erected in Point Pleasant Park, is one of the few tangible reminders of the men who died at sea. Twenty-four ships were lost by the Royal Canadian Navy in the Second World War and nearly 2,000 members of the RCN lost their lives. This Memorial was erected by the Commonwealth War Graves Commission and was unveiled in November 1967 with naval ceremony by H.P. MacKeen, Lieutenant-Governor of Nova Scotia, in the presence of R. Teillet, then Minister of Veterans Affairs. The monument is a great granite Cross of Sacrifice over 12 metres high, clearly visible to all ships approaching Halifax. The cross is mounted on a large podium bearing 23 bronze panels upon which are inscribed the names of over 3,000 Canadian men and women who were buried at sea. The dedicatory inscription, in French and English, reads as follows:

1914-1939
1918-1945
IN THE HONOUR OF
THE MEN AND WOMEN
OF THE NAVY
ARMY AND MERCHANT NAVY
OF CANADA
WHOSE NAMES
ARE INSCRIBED HERE
THEIR GRAVES ARE UNKNOWN
BUT THEIR MEMORY
SHALL ENDURE.

On June 19, 2003, the Government of Canada designated September 3rd of each year as a day to acknowledge the contribution of Merchant Navy Veterans.

Information courtesy of the Commonwealth War Graves Commission.

Digital Collection

Send us your images
  • Inscription– The panel with Robert Wilkinson's name inscribed, on the Halifax Memorial in Halifax, Nova Scotia.
Image taken 4 November 2017 by Tom Tulloch.
  • HMCS Grilse– The Royal Canadian Navy patrol boat HMCS Grilse shown alongside in Halifax in 1916.  Formerly the yacht Winchester, Grilse was acquired by the RCN in 1915 and was used for patrolling the Atlantic approaches to Canada during World War I.  Robert Wilkinson was serving in Grilse as an Artificer Engineer when the ship encountered heavy weather after leaving Halifax in December 1916.  He was drowned along with five other sailors when they were swept overboard during a storm on 12 December 1916.

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