WW1 - Surnames starting with the letter T. 

Walter Joseph Charles Thomas

Rank:2nd Lieutenant
Ship/Rgn/Sqn No:11th Bn
Name of Rgt or Ship:King's Own (Royal Lancaster Rgt)
How Died:Died of Wounds
Country of burial:FranceGrave Photo:Yes
Cemetery or Memorial:Bray Cemetery, Somme
Town Memorial:Not Listed
Extra Information:
Born during the September quarter 1897 in the Prestwich R.D. - ref: 8d/479,
the only son of William Walter and Frances Mary Thomas (nee Smith).

1901 Census - 88 Peel Green Road, Eccles.  Son of Boarder - aged: 3 - born:
Prestwich, Lancashire.   Head of household - Helen O'Connell - Unmarried -
aged: 40 - occ: Waistcoat Maker - born: Bandon Cork Ireland.     Also -
Frances Thomas (mother) - Married - aged: 25 - occ: Living on Own Means -
born: Bolton.

1911 - No Trace.

I am most grateful to Neil Drum & Pete Thomas for allowing me to use
verbatim the following extract from their superb 623 page book "A District
at War - Irlam & Cadishead's Part in the Great War", an incredibly detailed
and comprehensive book that is not only a credit to them, but a magnificent
memorial to the WW1 men of that district.

Served with the 11th (Service) Battalion, The King?s Own (Royal Lancaster
Regiment), 120th Infantry Brigade, 40th Division.

Walter was born in 1897 at Prestwich, the only son of William Walter and
Frances M. Thomas.   His parents later resided at The Nook, Oughtrington,
Lymm, Cheshire.   He was the grandson of George Thomas JP of Irlam Hall.

WO339/44734 - Walter was living at Moorside House, Flixton, when he
enlisted at Manchester on 7th April 1915 as a Gunner with the Royal Field
Artillery (RFA).    His description was then recorded as 19 years of age, 5
foot 7½ inches tall, weighing 144lb and unmarried.    Walter was only 17
years old at the time and had lied about his age to enlist.

On 8th April 1915 he joined 149th Brigade RFA at St Annes.   On the 12th
April 1915 he was posted as a Gunner to 150th Brigade RFA.  On the 14th May
1915 he was transferred to 169th Brigade RFA, Division Ammunition Column,
stationed at Blackpool.    On 17th May he was promoted to Bombardier and on
11th September, made up to Acting Sergeant.   At this stage he was billeted
at 26 Lytham Road, Blackpool.   On 3rd October 1915 he was discharged from
the RFA to take up a temporary commission as Second Lieutenant in the 11th
King's Own (Royal Lancaster Regiment) the next day.  He was then aged: 19
years 6 months and 5 feet 7 1/2 inches in height.  He weighed 144 lb and
his chest measurements were 34 - 38 inches.   His complexion was Fresh,
eyes - Brown and his hair was - Black.  He undertook his training to become
an officer at Oxford University Officer Training Corps.    He went to
France with the battalion on 3rd June 1916 and served in 'B' Company.

A District at War.   On 20th April 1917 the battalion was in the area of
Gouzeaucourt Wood and on the next day the artillery barrage commenced at
4.20am (zero hour).   Six minutes later the assault started on a German
stronghold (map ref Q.17.a) and at 4.50am the objective was gained with
very few casualties. Eight unwounded and one wounded prisoners were taken
and a machine-gun was captured.   The retreating enemy were pursued towards
Bilhem by the attacking 'A' Company, while 'B' Company consolidated and
held the position during the day.   Walter was wounded during this action
on 21st April and died of his wounds at No. 48 Casualty Clearing Station
the following day, Sunday, 22nd April 1917.    

M.I. - "Jesus Mercy, Mary Help". 

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