Thomas JONES
Rank: Private
Number: 15616
Unit: 1/5th Battalion CHESHIRE REGIMENT
Date of Death: 23 September 1916
Cemetery: Grove Town Cemetery, Meaulte, Somme, France

Regimental records show that Thomas was born in Asterley, Shropshire. It also notes that he enlisted in Stockport. Other than this and his commemoration on a local Memorial, his connection with the area is not known. His original service number, 1573, suggests he was probably a pre-war member of the Territorials (of which the 1/5th Battalion was part) or enlisted very soon after war was declared in August 1914/

The 5th Cheshires were the Divisional Pioneer Battalion - troops trained to fight but having as a primary responsibility, the construction of trenches and strongpoints.

On the night of 21/22 September, Thomas and his mates were working near Wedge Wood. This was near the village of Guillemont, in the southern part of the Somme battlefield, which had been captured in the early part of the month. The Battalion History records that "a large shell burst in the midst of a "D" Company platoon as they were forming up to come home after work near Wedge Wood, killing six and wounding seven, of whom three died of their wounds."

Thomas was one of the three fatally wounded. He would have received emergency treatment from the Battalion's Medical Officer before being evacuated to one of the two Casualty Clearing Stations operating at Meaulte (about 13 kilometres behind the front line). Here military surgeons would have done all that was possible to save his life, but without success and he died the following day.

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