Rank: Private
Number: 2291
Unit: 1/6th Battalion CHESHIRE REGIMENT
Date of Death: 3 August 1916
Age: 22
Cemetery: Brown's Road Military Cemetery, Festubert, Pas de Calais, France

Thomas’ parents, Thomas and mary Ann, lived at 17 heald Street, Stockport. He worked as a doubler at Johnson’s cotton mill. Thomas’ service number suggests he was a pre-war member of the Territorial army or joined up within days of war being declared in August 1914. An account of the Battalion’s early months of service is here.

After spending much of July 1916 in the forward areas, the Battalion was withdrawn to rest billets at Le Touret on 1 August. Le Touret is a village in northern France, near the town of Armentieres, but this was not a holiday for the men of the Cheshires. On 3 August, some of the men undertook Battalion training (although there was a football match in the afternoon). Others, including Thomas, were undertaking fatigues in the trench area. The Battalion’s War Diary records “1 O.R. killed, GSW (Note: Gun Shot Wounds) on fatigues”. The Other Rank was Thomas. His sergeant later wrote to his parents explaining what had happened “We were working in an advanced position in the trenches and just as we were being withdrawn, you son was shot by an enemy sniper dying instantaneously without pain.”

Thomas, senior, also served with the Cheshire Regiment during the War.

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