Rank: Private
Number: 59038
Unit: 1/5th Battalion WELSH REGIMENT
Date of Death: 3 November 1917
Cemetery: Beersheba War Cemetery, Israel.

Nothing is known of Tom's life except that military records published after the War show he was born in Stockport and enlisted in the town.

The small engagement in which Tom and 33 of his mates were killed was part of the ongoing Third Battle of Gaza. The objective was to attack Turkish positions at a place called Ainkohleh. The name is taken from the Battalion's War Diary at the National Archives and doesn't appear r to be on modern maps.

They moved off at 6am. Leading the attack were the men from the 4th Battalion and from the 7th Cheshires. The 5th Welsh followed behind as the support Battalion. As the attack went, two companies of the 5th were ordered forward - one being assigned to each leading Battalion. At about 12.30, the remaining two companies went forward to provide further reinforcements for the 4th Battalion.

After advancing about 700 yards, they came under heavy shellfire but there were few casualties at this point. Machine guns and rifles now opened up on them and they spread out into "extended formation". All went well until they were about 1000 yards from the objective. The leading troops had come under enfilade fire from one of the flanks as well as from the front. The attack stalled as they realised the Turks were well dug-in on the left flank. British artillery started to shell the Turks and some further progress was made. However, the British guns were soon knocked out of action by deadly accurate Turkish shelling.

About 600 yards from the objective, the enemy fire became exceptionally heavy. The War Diary records "Many acts of gallantry were noticed and in fact every man played the game for his side." It was impossible to continue the attack and the troops disengaged, pulling back a little way to the relative safety of White Hill.

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