Thomas, Percy A

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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)


The son of John and Ada Thomas (née Buckley), Percy Thomas 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 and that John Thomas was a cashier. The Census for 1901 records the family living at 4 Lumn Street, John Thomas was employed as an ale and porter bottler. Percy (5) had an elder brother Frederick (7). Ten years later, the family, less John Thomas, resided at the same address and Percy (15) was described as a clerk in a hat shop. He now had three younger siblings: Hilda (10), Annie (8) and Harry (5). At the time the census was taken, 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 a 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 and the 10th (Service) Battalion of the Royal Welsh Fusiliers 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 posting 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.

John Thomas died in June 1921 and was followed by Ada in November 1925.

Known memorials:

  • Llandudno Roll of Honour
  • Llandudno War Memorial
  • Memorial Chapel, Holy Church, Llandudno
  • Llanrhos Parish War Memorial, All Saints’ Church, Deganwy
  • Hyde War Memorial, Town Hall, Hyde

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