Rank: Private
Number: 7167
Unit: 16th Battalion MANCHESTER REGIMENT
Date of Death: 21 March 1918
Age: 32
Cemetery: Pozieres Memorial, Somme, France

For this project, it was a reasonably straightforward process to identify the T Yarwood whose name is inscribed on the Heaton Mersey War Memorial. His brother James is also remembered there as well as on the main Stockport War Memorial at the Art Gallery. It's reasonable to assume that Tom is the T Yarwood whose name is inscribed there amongst those serving with Lancashire Regiments.

The Yarwoods had lived 11 Richmond Road, Heaton Mersey for many years. Samuel and Esther are thought to have married in the late 1860s and had four children at home when the 1901 Census was taken. Although some details of James' life are known, nothing has been discovered about Tom. When War was declared in August 1914, he was eager to enlist. At the beginning of September, recruitment started for the first of the "Pals" Battalions. They had filled the full complement in a little over a day and Tom was assigned to No. 16 Platoon, in "D" Company. His first time in action will have been on the opening day of the Battle of the Somme.

Click here for details of the day when Tom was killed.

Research for this project quickly revealed that Tom was not included in the country's Debt of Honour Register maintained by the Commonwealth War Graves Commission. As such, he had neither a known grave nor a commemoration in France on the Memorial to the Missing near to where he died. The Commission rightly requires a heavy burden of proof if it is to change the records prepared by the army nearly 90 years ago. But there is one official document that proves beyond doubt that a man died - and that is his death certificate. A copy was obtained which confirms that, even though his body was never traced and identified, his death was assumed to have taken place on 21 March. This information was submitted to the Commission on 14 December 2006, under arrangements with the Great War Forum. Just under a month later, news was received that Tom was to be officially recognised. His name already appears on the online Debt of Honour Register and, in due course, it will be carved in stone at Pozieres.

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