Thomas Herbert PENNY
Rank: Private
Number: 2336
Unit: D Company, 1/6th Battalion MANCHESTER REGIMENT
Date of Death: 12 May 1915
Age: 22
Cemetery: Helles Memorial, Turkey

Tom was the first of the Stockport men to be killed serving with the 1/6th Battalion. He was one of a number of the town's keen lacrosse players who joined up within days of War being declared. He played in defence and captained the Stockport Club's "A" team and was hoping to be soon included in the First Team. An account of the Battalion's early months of War service is here.

After landing at Gallipoli on 6 May, the Battalion gradually took up more advanced positions and came into the front line for the first time on the 11th. The next day, the Gurkhas, on the left of the Manchesters, undertook a small scale attack on the Turkish positions and were supported by machine gun and rifle from their neighbours. During the night, Tom was shot by sniper and died almost instantly.

Private H Harrison, 2441, "C" Company, wrote in his personal diary "Penny of "D" Coy hit in the head at night in hot fusillade and killed."

Tom's platoon commander, Lieutenant A C Brooke-Taylor, wrote to Tom's parents "I thought I would just like to say how much we shall all miss him here. As you no doubt know, we left Egypt a little over a week ago for active service and during the first few days which were necessarily trying to new troops, I could not help being impressed by the quiet courage displayed by your son, whilst his unfailing good temper and strict attention to duty in barracks had made him deservedly popular with us all. I was standing by him when he was killed. He had just put his head up to fire a shot when a bullet hit him in the temple and he died a few minutes later without regaining consciousness. He made no sound and I am sure that he did not suffer any pain at all. In your heavy sorrow, I should like to offer you and Mrs Penny my deepest sympathy." Arthur Brooke-Taylor, from Bakewell, was killed a couple of weeks later leading his men into the attack on 4 June.

Tom's parents, James and Catherine, had married in 1887 and lived at Beech Road, Stockport and, later, at 31 Heath Crescent, Davenport. They also had a daughter called Norah. James owned a printing company - the Edgeley Press on Hardcastle Street. As well as his inscription on the Stockport War Memorial, Tom is remembered on the memorials at St Georges Church and Stockport Cricket Club.

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