Rank: Private
Number: 18579
Unit: 6th Battalion King’s Own (Royal Lancaster) Regiment
Date of Death: 9 April 1916
Age: 21
Cemetery: Amara War Cemetery, Iraq

Edward Stockton, a grocer, married Jane Robinson at St John's C of E Church, Heaton Mersey during the first quarter of 1895. Thomas was born the same year and his sister, Gladys, two years later. In 1901, the family was living at 22 Short Street and, later, at 11 Stitch Lane, Heaton Norris.

Thomas was educated at Christ Church School and later studied for a commercial career at Stockport Technical School. After this he gained employment with the London and North Western Railway Company. When he enlisted into the army in may 1915, he left as job as a booking clerk at Sale station. Thomas was always a keen sportsman. As a boy, he played for the cricket team of the Stockport Lads' Club and, later, football for Christ Church Football Club.

Thomas probably saw service with the Battalion in its final few weeks at Gallipoli before the evacuation form the ill-fated campaign. Not long after arrival, he was invalided home fro a while after contracting dysentery and rejoined as his unit was moving to Mesopotamia (modern day Iraq).

The men of the King's Own arrived in Mesopotamia in March 1916. The whole of that month was spent getting into position and training for an attack on the Turkish positions near the Orah canal. The first of these attacks came at 5am on 5 April, with the King's Own successfully driving the enemy out of its front line trench "at the point of the bayonet" with very few casualties. Breakfast was being eaten by 7am. 12 hours later, the Battalion was back in action again, capturing a further three enemy trenches. .

On the 9th, they attacked again at 4.20 am on the enemy positions at Sannaujat. .The Turkish troops were prepared for an assault and sent up flares. This enabled them to keep up accurate rifle and machine gun fire until 8 am. The attack was a failure. Thomas was among the 12 killed. Another 89 had been wounded and a further 91 missing.

Thomas' name is included in his employer's Roll of Honour. Click here for details.

 (NB: Original research into the military aspects of this biography by John Hartley for the Cheadle & Gatley War Memorials website)

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