Thomas DOLAN
Rank: Private
Number: 12033
Unit: 1st Battalion CHESHIRE REGIMENT
Date of Death: 29 April 1915
Age: 28
Cemetery: Menin Gate Memorial, Ieper, Belgium

Thomas was born in South Reddish and lived at the family home, 34 Hawkins Street, with his mother, Catherine and his brothers, James and William. It's not known if there were other members of the family.

Nothing else is known about Thomas' life, except that he enlisted into the Army at Stcockport and his service number indicates this was in August or September 1914. Thomas will have gone on active service around January 1915, as part of the first drafts of replacements for the regular army soldiers, of the First Battalion, who had already been killed or wounded.

The Cheshires had recently been on a tour of duty in the front line trenches and, on 25 April, had been relieved. Even though they had not been called on to go into action, they suffered casualties on a daily basis. They went into Brigade reserve dugouts at Zillebeke Lake (just to the south of Ypres - now Ieper), some little way behind the front line. About 5.30pm on the 29th, the dugouts were shelled by a heavy German gun to the south west. There were 26 casualties. 15 were wounded, but amongst the 11 dead were Thomas, Harry Bruckshaw and Thomas Bagley. None of the three has a known grave.

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