|Lieutenant Rupert Lancelot Wilkin (later Shoolbred) of the 13th Middlesex "The Queen's Westminster" Rifle Volunteers.
I would like to extend a special thanks to Mr. Jonathan Hopkins, moderator at www.victorianwars.com for providing information as to the
identity of this officer.
Rupert Wilkin was born in 1869 at Folkestone, Kent, England the son of John Wilkin, MD and his wife Jane.
Wilkin was appointed second lieutenant (supernumerary) in the 13th Middlesex (Queen's Westminster) Rifles on 5 December 1888.
Captain - 25 March 1896
Honorary Major - 16 January 1904
On 28 January 1905 Wilkin was granted by the King the right to assume the surname of Shoolbred in compliance with a clause in the last
will of his uncle Walter Shoolbred former captain and honorary major in the 13th Middelsex (Queen's Westminster) Rifle Volunteers.
On 14 May 1906 Shoolbred was presented the Territorial Decoration by the King.
Appointed Captain and Honorary Major - 16th Battalion, County of London (Queen's Westminster) Regiment - 1 April 1908
Lieutenant Colonel - 15 February 1911
Retired - 12 November 1924
In the 1901 Census for Westminster Wilkin was well off enough to be listed a simple "Living on own means" Prior to that in 1891 while still
living at home his occupation was given as "Wharehouseman. One may assume that this occupation was not as mundane as it sounds given
his family's social standing. The family firm - Shoolbred & Co - dealt in high quality antique furniture and operated under Royal Warrant.
Wilkin - now Shoolbred - served on the Western Front during World War One and was present at - based upon a letter he wrote to his
brother - an occurrence similar to the famous Christmas Truce of 1914. He wrote in part "There followed some hymn and carol singing
from each side alternately, applauded and encored by the other side respectively. Our friends opposite us began to blow bugles and set up
candle illuminations on the top of their trenches and they and our own people shouted across to each other Xmas greetings."
Shoolbred received his first Mention in Despatches from Field Marshal French on 22 June 1915 for "...gallant and distinguished service
in the field."
He received two additional Mention in Despatches on 15 June 1916 and 4 January 1917.
During World War One (23 June 1915) Shoolbred was appointed to the Most Distinguished Order of St. Michael and St. George, Third
Schoolbred was entitled to the 1914 "Mons" Star with clasp along with the British War and Victory Medals.
Rupert Wilkin Shoolbred died at Barnstaple in 1946.
Elliott & Fry - Photographer
55 Baker Street, W. London, England