James (Jim) Wilson (1891–1982)


Royal Navy K 11867 hms Zealandia, Victory II, Vernon, Agincourt, Hercules, and Reknown

Photo courtesy Cathey Rowlston & Betty Wilson

James Wilson

Born in 1891, Jim was a colliery engine driver before enrolling in the Royal Navy in July 1911, for a period of twelve years. During his service he went from Stoker to Leading Stoker. During the war years he served aboard HMS Zealandia, Victory II, Vernon and Agincourt. Victory II and Vernon were shore-based postings.

Photo courtesy Cathey Rowlston & Betty Wilson

James Wilson naval hat

James's HMS Victory hat

As a stoker in the Royal Navy, it is interesting to record that Jim was called upon to assist on 'Black Friday' in 1921.
As a reservists he was mobilised briefly in 1921 after the state of emergency had been declared under the Emergency Powers Act 1920. This was declared on 31 March after the Triple Alliance (predecessor to the Trade Union Congress, or TUC) called a strike over a miners' wage dispute. When, on 15 April, the transport and rail unions decided not to call for strike action in solidarity with the miners, this became known as 'Black Friday'. Although not a fully-fledged strike, transport and railworkers were ordered not to handle imported coal.

Photo courtesy Cathey Rowlston & Betty Wilson

james Wilson 1921 strike

Jim is marked by an arrow head

He left the service in June 1921 with the report that his conduct had been very good.


Hat Factory, Crich

The Hat Factory, in centre of photograph, is where George was living in 1911.

Naval Record
DoB 01/12/1891; Engine driver; engaged 06/07/11 for a period of 12 years; Height 5ft 4¾in; light brown hair and blue eyes; scar 3rd finger right hand and over right shoulder;
06/07/11 to 39/07/11 on Victory II
30/07/11 to 23/07/11 on Renown
24/07/11 to 28/11/11 on Victory II
29/11/11 to 30/11/11 on New Zealand
01/12/11 to 20/07/17 on Zenlandia
21/07/17 to 12/10/17 on Victory II
13/10/17 to 06/11/17 on Vernon
07/11/17 to 18/04/18 on Victory II
19/04/18 to 31/03/19 on Agincourt
01/04/19 to 26/01/20 on Hercules
27/01/20 to 30/01/20 on Victory II shore to discharge
Joined R.F.R. 31/01/20 P.O.B. 10546
09/04/21 to 07/06/21 on Victory II
Throughout conduct very good. Went from Stoker II to Leading Stoker

James' ships

HMS Agincourt

HMS Agincourt


HMS Newe Zealand

HMS New Zealand/Zealandia

HMS Hercules

HMS Hercules

HMS Reknown

HMS Renown

James Wilson's brother George Wilson is also on the Roll of Honour.


1901: Millgreen, Crich

Forename Surname Relationship Age Occupation Where born
George E Wilson Head 35 Limestone quarryman Crich
Eliza Wilson wife 38   Crich
James Wilson son 9   Fritchley
Elsie Wilson daughter 7   Fritchley
George Wilson son 3   Fritchley
Elizabeth Wilson daughter 1   Fritchley

RG13 piece 3231 folio 14 page 19

1911: Hat Factory, Crich

Forename Surname Relationship Age Occupation Where born
George Wilson Head 45 Limestone quarryman Crich
Eliza Wilson wife 47   Crich
James Wilson son 19 Engine driver at colliery Crich
Elsie Wilson daughter 17 General servant domestic Crich
George Wilson son 13 Drapers assistant Crich
Elizabeth Wilson daughter 11   Crich
John Wilson son 9   Crich
William Wilsonw son 7   Crich

RG14PN20983 RG78PN1251 RD436 SD4 ED12 SN137

1918 Crich voters
Jim Wilson, Fritchley; absent on military service.