Thomas HOWARD
Rank: Private
Number: 15635
Unit: 1/5th battalion CHESHIRE REGIMENT
Date of Death: 2 October 1916
Age: 21
Cemetery: Thiepval Memorial, Somme, France

Thomas had been born in Stockport, lived at 21 Waterloo Road and enlisted in the town.

The Territorial Battalion had been formed as an ordinary fighting unit but was later converted to a Pioneer Battalion. It's primary role became construction, rather than fighting, although the men would still take part in attacks. The change had not been popular.

In early September, the Battalion had been in reserve but was brought forward, south of the village of Montauban, on 30 September. They were digging new trenches and strongpoints in preparation for another attack. Throughout this period, German artillery shelled the British positions causing casualties on a daily basis. Each day, the Battalion had to march 5 miles up to the front line, arriving when it was dark. They would then work through the night returning to their camp in the early morning.

Thomas was one of five soldiers killed on the 2 October. None has a known grave. Later his officer wrote to the family saying that Thomas had carried out his work as a stretcher bearer with admirable skill and coolness and that his death had been a great shock to his comrades.

   
           
   
     
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