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Edward Hammond Taylor

  • 10877, Serjeant, 1st Cameronians (Scottish Rifles)
  • Later 419637, Labour Corps
  • Died of illness, 20 July 1919, aged 26
  • Buried at Norbury (St. Thomas) Churchyard
  • CWGC registered (Son of Mr E H Taylor, of 13 Oxford St, Heaton Norris, Stockport)

Edward Hammond Taylor, the son of Edward Hammond Taylor, a butcher, and his wife Lucy Florence Taylor (née Whyman), was born at Norbury, Hazel Grove, Stockport on 1 September 1892. According to the baptismal record (9 October 1892), the family lived at 21 Chester Road, Norbury. Edward’s mother died in March 1896 and from June of that year, Edward attended Norbury National/Church of England School. In 1900, Edward Taylor (senior) married Elizabeth Harriet Hough. The Census for 1901 recorded the family still resident at Chester Road; Edward (junior) had three elder brothers, John, Harry and Sam plus three sisters and a stepsister.

In 1911, Edward was a private in the Cheshire Regiment stationed at Chester Castle. Edward had joined the Special Reserve the previous year and was doing six month’s initial training. Clearly Edward was attracted to army life for in 1912, he enlisted into the Cameronian’s (Scottish Rifles) of the Regular Army with a regimental number of 10877.

Edward disembarked at Le Havre on 15 August 1914 with the 1st Battalion of the Scottish Rifles. Very little is known of Edward’s subsequent service though civilian records indicate that he married Sarah Jane Richardson on 4 September 1915 at St. George’s Church, Llandudno, his rank in the Scottish Rifles being lance serjeant. Edward’s last unit was in the Labour Corps which was formed in early 1917 consolidating regimental Labour Battalions and other work companies of soldiers who were not medically fit enough for active service but who could still perform useful work. The Scottish Rifles’ work battalion was the 14th (Labour) Battalion that had formed in June 1916. It moved to France the following month and was absorbed by the Labour Corps in April 1917. Edward Taylor’s regimental number in the Labour Corps was 419637 and his rank on transfer was that of sergeant.

Edward Hammond Taylor died on 20 July 1919 aged 26 of a cerebral haemorrhage and heart failure at the Temporary Military Hospital Wadsley, Ecclesfield, Sheffield. On the death certificate, his home address was 15 Oxford Street, Heaton Norris, Stockport and his rank was that of corporal. His body was taken to St. Thomas’ Churchyard at Norbury and he was buried alongside his mother. Edward’s brothers Harry and John were both killed in the Great War.

Because soldiers in the Labour Corps were not involved in active warfare, a decision was made so that men who were in the Labour Corps when they were killed, or when they died, would be commemorated using details of their previous regiments.

In 1939, Sarah Jane Taylor lived in Llandudno. The following year, she married Andrew Seiles. She died in 1973.

 

Francis (Frank) Arthur Cecil Taylor

  • 70355, Gunner, 136 Heavy Battery, Royal Garrison Artillery
  • Died of wounds, 25 April 1918, aged 26
  • Buried at Mendinghem Military Cemetery, Belgium
  • CWGC registered (Only son of Arthur William and Annie Elizabeth Taylor, of 8 Rathbone Terrace, Deganwy, Carnarvonshire. Born Manchester)
  • Deganwy casualty

Francis Arthur Cecil Taylor, the son of a drysalter clerk, Arthur William Taylor and his wife Annie Elizabeth Taylor (née Szapira) was born at Moss Side, Manchester on 17 July 1889. In 1891, the family lived at 29 Longford Place, Moss Side; Arthur had an elder sister Violet. In 1894, Frank’s sister Lillian B Taylor was born. By 1898, Arthur Taylor and his wife Annie had separated, and Annie and her two youngest children were living at Rathbone Terrace, Deganwy. Frank attended Deganwy National School. In 1911, Frank and his sister Lillian still lived with their mother at 8 Rathbone Terrace, Llanrhos: Frank was employed as a golf caddy and his mother was a newsagent.

When he attested on 22 September 1914, Frank was then employed as a railway porter. He joined the Depot of the Royal Welsh Fusiliers at Wrexham the same day and was posted to the 10th (Service) Battalion with a service number of 15610 on 26 September. He was discharged on 16 November 1914 as not likely to become an efficient soldier. Francis attested again on 1 March 1916 at Llandudno. He gave his trade as a labourer and indicated that he had never served in a branch of the services. His preference to join the Welsh Guards was crossed out and substituted: Royal Garrison Artillery. His service number was 70355. He initially spent a month posted to the 15th Company RGA at Kilroot in Co Antrim before training in England at various RGA depots. He was posted to the British Expeditionary Force in August 1916 and served with 127 and 110 Heavy Batteries before being admitted to hospital with sore feet. On 6 January 1917 he was evacuated from No 11 Stationary Hospital to England and was treated at various hospitals for paratyphoid until 15 May 1917. Frank disembarked in France for the second time on 26 September 1917 and was posted to the 2/1st North Midland Heavy Battery on 2 October. However, before he joined his new unit, he was admitted to 5 General Hospital with inflamed connective tissue of his left foot and invalided to England where he was admitted to the 1st Southern General Hospital, Edgbaston from 20 October to 24 November 1917. After spending periods at Catterick and Winchester, he was posted back to France on 15 March 1918 and joined 136 Heavy Battery on 30 March 1918.

Frank Arthur Cecil Taylor died of wounds received in action on 25 April 1918 aged 26 at No 64 Casualty Clearing Station. 64 CCS was then based at Mendinghem (a made-up name), near Proven in Belgium. The place and date indicate that he was wounded during the Battle of the Lys, a phase of the German Spring Offensive. He was buried at Mendinghem Military Cemetery.

 

Robert E Taylor

Robert E Taylor is named on the Llanrhos War Memorial though no local casualty of that name has been found.

 

Edward Alan Thomas

  • 276786, Private, 1/5th Manchester Regiment (Territorial Force)
  • Killed in action, 31 August 1918, aged 23
  • No known grave (Vis-en-Artois Memorial, Haucourt, France)
  • CWGC registered (no family details noted)

Edward Alan Thomas, the son of Albert Henry Thomas and his wife Sarah Susannah Thomas (née Edwards) was born at Bromfield, Shropshire in March 1895. In 1901, the family – Albert, Sarah, Alice, Edith, Edward, Albert and Frederick – lived at “Miller’s House”, Bromfield. Albert Thomas was a corn miller which reportedly caused him bronchial health issues. By 1911, Albert Thomas and his wife ran a boarding house at “Belle Vue”, Gloddaeth Street, Llandudno. Edward was recorded as being a boy in a milliner’s shop. By 1914 the family lived at “Snowdon Villa”, Deganwy Avenue, Llandudno.

Little is known about the circumstances of Edward Thomas’ enlistment except that he joined at Manchester though his place of residence was recorded as being at Llandudno. Because his regimental number of 276786 was issued in 1917, probably as a replacement for an earlier Territorial Force number, it is very difficult to ascertain whether Edward volunteered or was called up. His first known unit was the 2/7th Battalion of the Manchester Regiment, (Territorial Force) which had formed in Manchester in August 1914 as a second line unit and served in the west of England before it was sent to France in February 1917. The 2/7th MR was reduced to cadre strength in April 1918 and the majority of its soldiers posted to other battalions. Edward Thomas served in France with the 2/7th but was posted to the 1/5th Manchester Regiment, possibly when the 2/7th was reduced.

Edward Alan Thomas was killed in action on 31 August 1918 aged 23. The battalion was in the line near Beaulencourt after the Battle of the Scarpe – the battalion war diary records a number of casualties taken by a patrol badly caught by machine gun fire. Edward Thomas’ body was never knowingly recovered and he is commemorated on the Vis-en-Artois Memorial.

 

Griffith Thomas (Cheshires)

  • 12447, Private, 9th Cheshire Regiment
  • Killed in action, 20 September 1917, aged 37
  • No known grave (Tyne Cot Memorial, Belgium)
  • CWGC registered (Son of William Thomas, of Curzon Rd, Craig-y-don, Llandudno; husband of the late Elizabeth Thomas, of 22 Myrtle St, Birkenhead)
  • Llandudno casualty
    • Missing from Llandudno’s Roll of Honour

Griffith Thomas, the son of William Thomas, a joiner, and his wife Winifred (née Owen) was born at Penygroes on 6 March 1880. In 1891, Griffith lived with his mother and two brothers, Thomas J and William at “Wesley Terrace”, Llanllyfni. Ten years later, Griffith was living with his father and stepmother, Mary Elizabeth Thomas, at “Orme View”, Victoria Street, Llandudno; Griffith was employed as a bricklayer. On 18 April 1903, Griffith Thomas married Elizabeth Mealor at Christ Church, Aughton; he gave his address as Davyhulme and his age as 25 (actually 23). William Thomas was born at Ormskirk on 24 January 1904; Winifred Thomas was born at Llandudno on 1 February 1907; and Ernest Thomas was born at Ashton under Lyne on 16 October 1908. The Census of 1911 records Elizabeth and the three children as borders at 26 Myrtle Street, Birkenhead. At the same time, Griffith Thomas resided with his father and stepmother at “Gladys House”, Curzon Road, Craig-y-Don; he was employed as a bricklayer by a light railway company.

Griffith Thomas volunteered at Birkenhead in September 1914. He gave his place of birth as Llandudno (sic) and his trade as a bricklayer. His wife’s address was given as 22 Myrtle Street, Birkenhead. Griffith joined the 9th (Service) Battalion of the Cheshire Regiment. This battalion had formed in September 1914 as part of K2, Kitchener’s second new army. The battalion had moved to Salisbury Plain and by December 1914 was in billets at Basingstoke. Meanwhile, another daughter, Elizabeth, had been born in Birkenhead on 23 November 1914. On 27 December 1914, Griffith went absent without leave and was apprehended at Birkenhead four days later by PC Alfred George Jones who received a reward of 10 shillings. Sadly, Elizabeth (daughter) died on 23 May 1915 of gastroenteritis.

The 9th Cheshires disembarked in France on 20 July 1915. On 20 September 1917, the battalion took part in the Battle of the Menin Road Ridge – a phase of the Third Battle of Ypres, also known as Passchendaele. Griffith Thomas had been assigned to the battalion’s trench mortar battery. One entry in his army record says that he was killed in action or died of wounds on or shortly after 20 September1917 but later entries only mention him being killed in action. One account says that he was shot by an enemy sniper and buried in a wood near the firing line though he is recorded as having no known grave.

Elizabeth Thomas died at Birkenhead in 1924.

 

Griffith Thomas (RWF)

  • 36810, Private, 19th Royal Welsh Fusiliers
  • Killed in action, 23 November 1917, aged 21
  • No known grave (Cambrai Memorial, Louverval, France)
  • CWGC registered (Son of Mrs Annie Thomas, of 19 Augusta St, Llandudno, Carnarvonshire)

Griffith Thomas, the son of a farm labourer, John Thomas, and his wife, Annie Thomas was born on 17 September 1896 at Llangernyw, Denbighshire. In 1901, the family including Griffith’s younger sister Maggie was living at “Pen-isa-llan”, Llangernyw. Griffith attended Llangernyw National School leaving in April 1904 on leaving the area. In 1911, Annie Thomas was a servant living at “Park House”, Mostyn Street, Llandudno whilst Griffith was a farm labourer living at “Rose Cottage”, Trefriw.

Giving his address as “Park House”, Mostyn Street, Griffith volunteered for the Royal Welsh Fusiliers at Llandudno on 10 November 1915 and joined the 20th (Reserve) Battalion at Conway the following day. His regimental number was 36810. The battalion trained at Kinmel Park. Griffith embarked at Folkestone on 18 March 1916 and joined the 16th (Service) Battalion RWF (formed Llandudno November 1914) on 20 April 1916. On 29 November 1916 he was evacuated by 129 Field Ambulance with acute abdominal pains and was returned to England on 13 December 1916 where he was given an appendectomy. After his convalescence, he was posted back to France on 11 May 17 and posted to the 19th (Service) Battalion RWF (originally a Bantam Battalion) on 2 June 1917.

Griffith Thomas was killed in action during the Battle of Cambrai. He has no known grave and for official purposes his death is recorded as being on 23 November 1917. He was aged 21.

 

Ivor Weston Thomas (Moore)

  • 14565, Private, 8th Royal Welsh Fusiliers
  • Died of illness after discharge, 15 December 1919, aged 24
  • Buried at Llanrhos Churchyard
  • CWGC registered (died 1 Sefton Terrace)
  • Cousin of John Bernard Thomas

Ivor was born on 9 November 1895 at “Cefn-y-Cae”, Rowen. His birth certificate names his parents as George Moore, a butler, and Rose Moore (née Lambert) who had been married in London in 1876. Census returns from 1881 till 1901 record both as married though they were living at separate addresses. In 1891, Rose lived at Harrow, Middlesex with four children: Arthur, Ernest G, Edith R and Albert as well as a boarder, (Robert) Edward Thomas, an artist and figure-painter from Chester. Robert Edward Thomas’ father was Dr Henry Thomas, manager of the Llandudno Hydropathic Establishment and Winter Residence (now the Hydro Hotel), Neville Crescent. In 1901, Edward Thomas (as “Occupier”), Rose Moore (as “Head of household”), Edith, Albert and Ivor (Moore) were living at “Pengwern”, Rowen, Caerhun. The Census of 1911 records Edward Thomas and his now-acknowledged partner, Rose Moore, living at Caerhun whilst Ivor (as Ifor Weston Thomas) was a boarder at Penketh School, Warrington. The same census records Edward Thomas’ brother Harry living at “Aileen Craig”, Nant-y-Gamer Road, Llandudno whose son John Bernard Thomas (qv) was also killed in the Great War. Also living in Llandudno were Edward Thomas’ two sisters, Dora Helen Thomas and Margaret Ann Thomas at 1 Sefton Terrace, Craig-y-Don.

Ivor Weston Thomas enlisted on 5 September 1914 into the Royal Welsh Fusiliers and given the regimental number of 14565, his first battalion being the 11th (Service) Battalion that had formed at Wrexham in October 1914. Ivor disembarked in France on 5 September 1915 though the battalion sailed for Salonika almost immediately. At some time, he was posted to the 8th Battalion that had formed in August 1914, serving in Gallipoli, Egypt, and Mesopotamia. Ivor was discharged as medically unfit for further duty on 22 June 1918, his last unit being the regiment’s depot (Wrexham). He was awarded the Silver War Badge number 412117 though it is not stated whether this was because of wounds or illness.

Ivor Weston Thomas died on 15 December 1919 at 1 Sefton Terrace of tuberculosis and heart failure. The death certificate significantly records the informant as E Thomas, father, of “Pen-yn-Allt”, Nant-y-Gamer. Ivor’s occupation was given as an assistant chemist at an aluminium works, probably the aluminium factory at Dolgarrog. He was buried on 18 December 1919 at Llanrhos Churchyard.

Edward Thomas died on 12 October 1936. His address was 13 Pleasant Street Llandudno and probate was granted to his sister Eva Thomas. The 1939 Register reveals that Eva Thomas was the head of the household at 13 Pleasant Street Llandudno; the household included Rose as “Rose Thomas” who was described as incapacitated and a widow. She died in 1943 aged 87.

 

John Bernard (Jack) Thomas

  • G/24784, Private, 7th Queen’s Own (Royal West Kent Regiment)
  • Died of illness, 2 March 1917, aged 19
  • Buried at Mont Huon Military Cemetery, Le Tréport, France
  • CWGC registered (Son of Harry and Alice Thomas, of “Aileen Craig”, Nant y Gamar Rd, Llandudno)
  • Cousin of Ivor Weston Thomas

Jack Thomas, the son of Harry and Alice Thomas, was born in Llandudno in 1897. The 1901 and 1911 Censuses for Wales record the family living at “Aileen Craig”, Nant-y-Gamer Road, Harry Thomas being recorded as a gardener. Jack’s paternal grandfather was Dr Henry Thomas, managing director of, and physician to, the Llandudno Hydropathic Establishment and Winter Residence (now the Hydro Hotel), who had died in 1894. Jack’s cousin, Ivor Weston Thomas (qv, above) also died in the Great War.

In January 1915, Jack enlisted at Llandudno and joined the Welsh Horse Yeomanry (WH) (Territorial Force) which had formed in August 1914. His regimental number was 719. Jack could not have joined the 1/1st WH because it was dismounted (effectively becoming infantry) and sent to Gallipoli in 1915. Jack joined either the 2/1st or the 3/1st WH, second and third line units for home service only, many of its soldiers not having volunteered to serve abroad. In January 1916, the Military Service Act (the act that enabled conscription) deemed all men in the Territorial Force above the age of 19 eligible, if fit, for service overseas. In some cases, whole second line battalions were sent overseas. However, by this time, mounted Yeomanry in a war of attrition had become an anachronism and Jack was transferred to a first line infantry regiment, the Queen’s Own (Royal West Kent Regiment) (RWK) with a regimental number of G/24784, probably in December 1916. Little is known of Jack’s service with the RWK though he served with the 7th (Service) Battalion which had been in France since July 1915.

Jack Thomas died on 2 March 1917 of nephritis and pneumonia aged 19 and was buried at Mont Huon Military Cemetery, Le Tréport, France. Le Tréport is a small seaport 25 km north-east of Dieppe and was an important hospital centre during the First World War.

 

John Lewis Thomas

  • 2248, Private, 1st Welsh Guards
  • Killed in action, 10 September 1916, aged 22
  • No known grave (Thiepval Memorial, Somme, France)
  • CWGC registered (no family details noted)

John Lewis Thomas was born at Llanfairfechan on 25 November 1893. He was the son of Charles Thomas and Jane Thomas (née Ellis). In September 1900, he was transferred from Llanfairfechan Infants’ School to the Llanfairfechan National School. In1901, the family was living at “Llynog House”, Llanfairfechan. John left school in July 1908 to become a grocer’s apprentice. In 1911, the family lived at 2 Glan-y-Mor Terrace. Charles Thomas was described as a seaman and John Lewis Thomas, the only child of the marriage, as an apprentice to a bootmaker, Mr J O Jones. John later joined the Caernarfonshire Police as PC 84, being stationed at Llandudno.

John Thomas attested at Bangor on 25 November 1915 and joined the 2nd Battalion of the Welsh Guards at Caterham two days later. His regimental number was 2248. It was not unusual for policemen to be recruited into the Brigade of Guards rather than local regiments. The Welsh Guards had been raised as a new regiment on 26 February 1915. The 1st Battalion had landed at Le Havre on 18 August 1915. At about the same time, the 2nd (Reserve) Battalion had formed at Wellington Barracks in London.

On 24 February 1916, John Lewis Thomas married Bertha Duce at Bangor Registry Office. Their child, Charles Richard Thomas was born the following day.

John Thomas disembarked in France on 9 July 1916 and joined the 1st Battalion in the field some days later when in the Reserve north of Ypres.

The Battle of Ginchy took place on 9 September 1916. After the battle, the Guards Division relieved troops of the 16th (Irish) Division and intensive fighting continued. On 10 September 1916, the Welsh Guards received 195 casualties including John Lewis Thomas who was killed in action aged 22. He has no known grave.

Bertha Thomas married Robert Harding at Wrexham in 1922. She died in 1977.

 

Percy A Thomas

  • 37760, Private, 1st Royal Welsh Fusiliers
  • Died of illness, 29 November 1916, aged 21
  • Buried at Varennes Military Cemetery, France
  • CWGC registered (Son of John and Ada Thomas, of Hyde, Cheshire)

Percy A Thomas, the son of a cashier John Thomas and his wife Ada Thomas (née Buckley) was born in Hyde, Cheshire on 22 June 1895. He was baptised the following month and the register records the family’s address as 19 Lumn Street, Hyde. In 1901, the family lived at 4 Lumn Street, John Thomas was employed as an ale and porter bottler; Percy had an elder brother Frederick. Ten years later, the family, less John Thomas, resided at the same address, Percy being described as a clerk in a hat shop. He now had three younger siblings: Hilda, Annie and Harry. At the time, John Thomas, described as a mineral water manufacturer, was a boarder at “Breton House”, Lloyd Street, Llandudno. School registers indicate that the family moved to Llandudno in 1912, living at 3 King’s Road. It was later reported that Percy attended the nearby St. Andrew’s Church on Trinity Street, a “tin” mission church, now demolished, which was then in the Parish of Llanrhos.

On 11 December 1915, Percy Thomas attested to join the Royal Welsh Fusiliers. He gave his address as “Woodleigh”, Trinity Street, Llandudno and his occupation as that of a clerk. He was given a day’s pay and put into the reserve. He was mobilised on 29 January 1916 and posted to the 21st (Reserve) Battalion which was a training battalion at Kinmel Park near Rhyl. He joined the battalion on 1 February 1916 with a regimental number of 37760. Percy was posted to the British Expeditionary Force on 27 August 1916. He joined No 5 Infantry Base Depot at Rouen two days later. When Percy was posted to France, the Battle of the Somme was raging and the 1st Battalion of the Royal Welsh Fusiliers took such a mauling on 3 September 1916, whilst fighting at Delville Wood, that it was pulled out of the line and sent to Mérélessart, a little to the south of Abbeville, to rest and be reinforced. Percy’s provisional posting to the 10th Battalion was accordingly changed and he joined the 1st Battalion in a draft of 292 other ranks on 10 September. The battalion returned to the front on 21 September.

On 29 November 1916, the war diary of the 1st RWF records that the battalion was in reserve at Beaumont Hamel. It also records that one of the casualties of that day was one soldier who had died of pneumonia. That soldier was Percy Thomas who had been evacuated by No 29 Field Ambulance to No 11 Casualty Clearing Station, a few kilometres west at Varennes the previous day. He was aged 21 and was buried at Varennes Military Cemetery.

 

William Thomas

  • 2408, Private, 2/6th Royal Welsh Fusiliers (Territorial Force)
  • Died of illness, 19 July 1916, aged 19
  • Buried at the Great Orme’s Head Cemetery
  • CWGC registered (“Caersalem”, Llewynon Gardens, Llandudno)

William Thomas, the son of a bricklayer John Thomas and Ellen Ann Thomas (née Roberts), was born on 10 September 1897 at Llandudno. In 1901, the family lived at 5 Tyn-y-Coed Terrace; John William was recorded as having two brothers: Thomas and Robert, and a sister Jenny. William transferred from St. Beuno’s School to St. George’s National School, transferring again to Lloyd Street School in February 1907. In 1911, the family, now including David lived at “Caersalem Chapel House”, Cwlach Road.

William Thomas was too young to enlist into the Regular Army so in September 1914, aged 17 years and one month, William joined the 6th (Carnarvonshire and Anglesey) Battalion Territorial Force of the Royal Welsh Fusiliers at Caernarfon which accepted recruits from the age of 17. His service number was 2408. The 6th Battalion split in two in November 1914: the 1/6th destined for overseas service and the 2/6th destined for home service. William joined the latter. In April 1915, the battalion was at Northampton and it moved to Bedford in July 1915.

William Thomas contracted peritonitis and died at the First Eastern General Hospital in Cambridge on 19 July 1916 aged 19. His body was returned to Llandudno and was buried in the Great Orme’s Head Cemetery. His gravestone records his parents’ address as 31 Madoc Street, Llandudno and that he was known as “Willie”.

 

John Owen Thompson

  • 14536, Serjeant, 11th Royal Welsh Fusiliers
  • Died of wounds, 28 June 1918, aged 29
  • Buried at Sarigol Military Cemetery, Kriston, Greece
  • CWGC registered (no family details noted)

John Owen Thompson, the son of a tobacconist George Robert Thompson and his wife Ellen Thompson (née Owen), was born in Llandudno on 16 December 1888. In 1891, the family lived at 19 Mostyn Street, John having an elder sister Catherine and an elder brother Frank. Ellen Thompson died the following year and George Thompson married Mary Ann Whitlaw in 1894. John attended St. George’s National School and Lloyd Street School. In 1901, the family lived at 63 Mostyn Street, George Thompson being a newsagent and stationer. Catherine, Frank and John were shop assistants having one younger brother, Robert, and three step-siblings. In 1911, the family still lived at Mostyn Street but both Frank and John were living at “Dryhurst”, Somerset Street, – both single and employed as assistant newsagents and stationers.

John Thompson volunteered at Llandudno in September 1914. Later described as “the life and soul of the company”, he took his banjo with him when he joined the Royal Welsh Fusiliers at Wrexham, being allocated to the 11th (Service) Battalion that formed in October 1914. His service number was 14536. The 11th RWF moved to Seaford but by June 1915 was billeted at Aldershot. John was a corporal when he landed in France on 5 September 1915. The 11th RWF reembarked at Marseilles and was at Salonika by November 1915.

The Anglo-French forces that arrived in Salonika were too late to materially assist the Serbs who had been attacked by German, Austro-Hungarian and Bulgarian armies. After preparing Salonika for defence, the troops moved up country. An offensive in the spring of 1917, part of which was the First Battle of Doiran, made little impression on the Bulgarian defences and the front line remained static until September 1918. It was during this period when John Owen Thompson was wounded in action with a shell wound to his head which penetrated his brain. He was admitted to No 31 Casualty Clearing Station on 28 June 1918 and died the same day aged 29. He was buried at Jane’s Military Cemetery but after the war was reinterred at Sarigol Military Cemetery, Kriston. This cemetery is about halfway between the modern Thessalonica and the border with Northern Macedonia.

 

Septimus Jorge Tonge

  • Major, 21st Company Machine Gun Corps, Mentioned in Dispatches
  • Suicide, 9 May 1918, aged 38
  • Buried at Llanrhos Churchyard
  • CWGC registered (Son of Robert and Mary Tonge)

Septimus Jorge Tonge was born in Pendleton, Lancashire on 11 March 1880. He was the son of the Secretary to the Manchester Steam Association’s Secretary, Robert Tonge and his wife Mary Ann Tonge (née Harrison).In 1881, the family lived at 42 Fitzwarren Street, Pendleton; Septimus is recorded as living with five elder brothers and four elder sisters. The family moved to Flixton and in 1901, Septimus was described as a bank clerk. When the Census of 1911 was compiled, Septimus was staying at the house of his brother Roland at New Mills; at the same time, his parents were living at “Lymehurst”, Roumania Crescent, Craig-y-Don, Llandudno. Robert Tonge was prominent in Liberal politics and the Congregational Church. Mary Ann Tonge died later that year.

After the declaration of war, Septimus Tonge joined the Lancashire Fusiliers as a private and was commissioned as a temporary second lieutenant on 27 September 1915. On a date unknown, he was transferred to the Machine Gun Corps and, as a temporary captain, was mentioned in dispatches on 24 December 1917. Septimus’ last appointment was as a major in the 21st Company which had formed in March 1916 within the 30th Division. For a rest, Septimus Tonge was sent to the Machine Gun Corp’s depot at Belton Park near Grantham. Shortly after having had a month’s leave in Llandudno, he returned to the town unexpectedly.

Septimus Tonge committed suicide on 9 May 1918 aged 38 by shooting himself in the head with a service revolver in woods near Llandudno. The inquest found that Septimus Tonge had been greatly depressed and suffering from shell-shock. He was buried at Llanrhos Churchyard in his mother’s grave. Probate was granted to his brother Roland.

 

Ernest Muncaster Turner

  • 629567, Lance Corporal, 47th Canadian Infantry
  • Killed in action, 16 March 1917, aged 35
  • Buried at Villers Station Cemetery, Villers-Au-Bois, France
  • CWGC registered (Son of Edwin and Margaret Turner, of Cardiff, Wales; husband of Elizabeth Turner, of 1183 18th St, Edmonds, British Columbia)

Ernest Muncaster Turner was born in Llandudno on 10 February 1882. He was the son of Edwin Turner, an architect, and his wife Margaret Ann (née Muncaster) of “Holme Lea”, Tudno Street, Llandudno. In 1890, he was recorded in the registers of both St. George’s and St. Beuno’s Schools having previously been privately educated. In 1891, the family lived at “Bryn Tabor”, Ty Gwyn Road and ten years later, it lived at “Abbotsford”, Great Orme’s Road, Ernest being employed as an assistant to his father. He also served for two years with the 1st Carnarvonshire Royal Garrison Artillery (Volunteers).

In 1907, Ernest Turner emigrated to British Colombia, Canada. He married Elizabeth Trawford (née Morris), a widow with three children at New Westminster on 26 July 1912, their son, also Ernest Muncaster Turner, being born in 1914. Ernest had previously joined the militia, the 104th Westminster Fusiliers of Canada with a service number 89871. On 6 August 1914, the regiment was placed on active service for local protection duties and began to recruit men for the new 47th Battalion of the Canadian Infantry from New Westminster, Vancouver and Victoria for service overseas. Ernest joined the new battalion on 30 September 1915 at Vermont BC. He gave his address as 2 Princess Street, New Westminster and his trade as a labourer. His new regimental number was 629567. Whether or not Ernest sailed with the battalion to England on 13 November 1915 and disembarked with it in France on 11 August 1916 is presently unknown.

The war diary for the 47th Battalion records that Ernest Turner was killed in action on 16 March 1917 near Chateau de la Haie in the Lens Sector. He was aged 35 and was buried at Villers Station Cemetery, Villers-Au-Bois. The Commonwealth War Grave Commission’s register, which was compiled in the 1920s, gives an address for his widow in Edmonds, British Colombia.

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