Thomas Roughton WORTHINGTON
Rank: Company Sergeant Major
Number: 637
Unit: 1/6th Battalion MANCHESTER REGIMENT
Date of Death: 7 August 1915
Age: 32 (based on information from the 1901 Census)
Cemetery: Awaiting inclusion on the Helles Memorial, Turkey

For more than 90 years, Thomas was one of probably several thousand soldiers who remained uncommemorated officially by the Commonwealth War Graves Commission. It was probably simple clerical error that led to him being left off the casualty returns submitted to the War Graves Commission after the War.

The information collected in the course of this project put beyond reasonable doubt the fact that he fell at Gallipoli in August 1915. All this evidence, which includes official records held at the National Archives, was submitted to the Commission in 2004. In due course, the Commission and the Ministry of Defence agreed to commemorate a man - but it was the wrong man. Further evidence was submitted and the help of local MP, Mark Hunter, was enlisted. In February 2006, Tom Worthington finally received official recognition and his name is now included on the Commission's on-line Debt of Honour Register. At a later date, his name will be inscribed on the Helles Memorial to the Missing on the Gallipoli peninsula in Turkey.

The following is a brief account of Tom's life and military service but for a much fuller account and details of the quest for official recognition for Tom, read John Hartley's article at http://www.hellfire-corner.demon.co.uk/worthington.htm.

The 1901 Census shows him to be the fourth of seven children of Isaac and Jane Worthington. At the time, the family lived at 189 Stockport Road, Cheadle but, by 1914, they had moved to live at Norfolk House in the village. Thomas worked as an accountant in Manchester. He played hockey for Bramhall and Cheadle clubs and was a close friend of Alexander Milne (also remembered on this memorial). His older sister, Agnes, married a Mr Bennison and was killed during the 1941 air raid on Cheadle. She is also commemorated on the Cheadle memorial

He was a Territorial soldier before the war and quickly volunteered for active service in August 1914. Within a month, the Battalion left Britain for Egypt, where Tom and his comrades spent the next seven months. An account of this period, which includes a letter home written by Tom, can be found here. On 3 May, they embarked at Alexandria to go into action at Gallipoli.

Details of the first few weeks on the peninsula, including an account of the Manchesters' attack on 4 June is here. Tom was wounded in this attack and there are more details in the Hellfire Corner article mentioned earlier.

After a spell on the island of Imbros to reorganise, the Battalion returned to Gallipoli on 24 June. Tom had been promoted to Company Sergeant Major and was scheduled to leave the Battalion, on 11 August, to become an officer. It was not to happen. On 7 August, Tom took part in another attack and, this time, he did not survive. Alongside him was his good friend and Cheadle neighbour, Alexander Milne.

Tom was officially listed as missing although a fellow officer writing home said "Most certainly Lieut. T Worthington fell in action. He was next to me when he was killed." Newspaper reports of his death record Tom as a Lieutenant but he didn't live long enough to achieve this rank.

   
           
   
     
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