Thomas, John Bernard (Jack)

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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)


Jack Thomas, the son of Harry and Alice Thomas, was born in Llandudno in 1897. The 1901 and 1911 Censuses for Wales records 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), Neville Crescent, who had died in 1894. Jack’s cousin, Ivor Weston Thomas (qv) also died in the Great War.

Jack Thomas’ service record no longer exists though some details are available from Soldiers Died in the Great War and other documents. 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 went to Gallipoli in 1915 so it seems likely that he joined either the 2/1st or the 3/1st WH, second and third line units for home service only, 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 for service overseas. In some cases, whole second line battalions were sent overseas though by this time, mounted Yeomanry had become an anachronism and Jack was transferred to a first line infantry regiment, the Queen’s Own (Royal West Kent Regiment) (RWK), regimental number G/24784, probably in December 1916.

Very 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. He 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.

Known memorials:

  • Llandudno Roll of Honour
  • Llandudno War Memorial
  • Memorial Chapel, Holy Trinity Church, Llandudno
  • Llanrhos Parish War Memorial, All Saints’ Church, Deganwy
  • Christchurch, Llandudno (as Jack Thomas WH)

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