Thomas had lived through nearly four years of war and died six weeks before it ended. His service number confirms he enlisted very early, within days of war being declared in August 1914. The 15th Battalion was not formed until November 1914, so Thomas must have transferred to it at some later point from another unit.
He had been born in the parish of St Joseph's Roma Catholic Church, Tatton Street, Stockport and he enlisted at Hyde. He was married to Mary Jane and they lived at 31 Read Street in the Higher Hillgate area of town, with their two children. He worked as a doubler at the cotton mill of Andrew & Bramall Ltd, Manchester. Doublers operated the machines that twisted cotton fibres together.
Since early August, the Allies had been pushing the German army back in stages. From early September, the 15th Cheshires were in the area of Voormezeele and Zillebeke, to the south and south east of Ypres (now Ieper). The Regimental History records that the front was lightly held by the enemy, although there was frequent shellfire. The Battalion maintained "constant and bold patrolling to keep touch with his (the enemy) movements".
On 28 September, the British and Belgian armies launched a further attack. The 15th Cheshires were in reserve this day and were not called on to go into action. In spite of this, there were still a number of casualties, no doubt from the shellfire. Two men were killed outright and Thomas and another were seriously wounded and died later.
After the war, Mary Jane had married a Mr McGough and was living at 23 Ratliffe Street, Middle Hillgate, Stockport.