Wilkes takes over as captain of Tommo’s company for a while, and treats the men very well, earning their respect. He was a choirmaster in England, and thus encourages the men to sing in order to keep their morale up. He also keeps their trenches clean and looks after the men well. Eventually he is injured in battle, but Charlie loyally carries him all the way back to the English trenches. Wilkes later dies from his injuries, but leaves Charlie his special watch in gratitude. Captain Wilkes is a complete contrast to the company’s earlier commander, Sergeant Hanley. Wilkes is respectful and considerate of his men, and they all respect him in return, especially Charlie. Hanley on the other hand treats his men despicably, so Charlie constantly defies him as a matter of principle.
Captain Wilkes / “Wilkie” Character Timeline in Private Peaceful
The timeline below shows where the character Captain Wilkes / “Wilkie” appears in Private Peaceful. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Chapter 9: A Minute Past Three
...they will be leaving “Etaples and Sergeant Hanley forever.” Their new captain is called Captain Wilkes, and he often encourages the men to sing to boost their morale. Wilkes was a... (full context)
Chapter 10: Twenty-Five Past Three