Thomas, Edward Alan

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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 recorded)

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. The Census for 1901 records the family – Albert, Sarah, Alice (9), Edith (7), Edward (6), Albert (3) and Frederick (1) – living 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.

Sadly, Edward Thomas’ army record no longer exists. Little is known about the circumstances of his enlistment except that he enlisted 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 when 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 East 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.

Known memorials:

  • Vis-en-Artois Memorial, Haucourt, France
  • Llandudno Roll of Honour
  • Llandudno War Memorial
  • Memorial Chapel, Holy Trinity Church, Llandudno
  • Parents’ headstone, St. Tudno’s Churchyard, Great Orme’s Head

2 comments to Thomas, Edward Alan

  • Wendy Capsey (nee Grundy)

    Edward Alan Thomas affectionately known by his family as ‘Edwin’ was my Great Uncle. He was born in Bromfield (not Broomfield), near Ludlow Shropshire in March 1895. He was descended from millers from Shropshire on his father Albert Henry Thomas’s side and on his mother Sarah Susanna Edwards side farmers from Pilleth in Radnorshire. His father ran Bromfield Mill from the 1890’s to early 1900’s. He brought the family to Llandudno for the fresh air, because of bronchial health issues he suffered, presumably a consequence of the milling process. In 1911 they lived at Belle Vue Boarding House, Gloddaeth Street. Sixteen year old Edward Alan was employed as a ‘Boy’ in a Milliner’s Shop. Pictured in 1912 aged 17 he was a smart young man. By 1914 the family lived at Snowdon Villa, Deganwy Avenue, Llandudno. A picture of him taken in uniform at Crowborough, Sussex in 1917/18 places him with C Company of the 2/7th Manchester Regiment and confirms this as his home address.

    He was reported missing on August 31st 1918, aged 23 years (not 22). In France his name appears on Memorial Panel 9 at Vis-en-Artois, near Arras. I have twice had the opportunity to visit and pay my respects.

    In addition to photographs of Edward Alan given to me by my Great Aunt, his sister Edith Mary Thomas, I look after his bronze ‘death plaque’, memorial scroll, and his British War Medal and Victory Medal.

    Sometime after the war his parents moved to run Apartments at Bryn Celyn, 50 Abbey Road, Llandudno.

    The daughter of Edward Alan’s brother Albert Henry Thomas still lives in the Dolydd, Llandudno. Other relatives live in Llandudno and surrounding areas.

    • admin

      Apologies for my very late response. I only discovered your post whilst reviewing Edward’s page. I have made a few change thanks to your comment. I am also committing the biographies to paper and am adding photographs where I can find them. I will be emailing you on the matter immediately. Many thanks for your information.

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