Museum of the Manchester Regiment
The Men Behind the Medals

Thomas W. Atkins

Thomas W. Atkins :

Thomas W. Atkins : (L to R) 1914-15 Star; British War Medal; Allied Victory Medal

(L to R) 1914-15 Star; British War Medal; Allied Victory Medal

Thomas was born in 1877 or 1878. We don't know anything about his family or his early life.

When the First World War broke out in August 1914 Thomas, like many thousands of other men, wanted to do his part to help. He joined the Manchester Regiment on the 14th August and was given the service number 2507. From this number we believe that Thomas had enlisted as a Special Reservist in the 3rd Battalion of the Manchester Regiment.

Thomas' Army service is mostly a mystery. The 3rd Battalion was not intended to fight as a complete unit, it existed to train soldiers and send them to fight in other units. On the outbreak of war the 3rd Battalion had moved to Cleethorpes in Lincolnshire. This was so that it could also be used to protect the Humber estuary from a German attack.

We don't know how long Thomas stayed with the 3rd Battalion, but on the 22nd June 1915 he was sent to France to join another unit in the Manchester Regiment.

At some point during his service Thomas was either wounded or fell sick. He did not recover for the rest of the war and on the 30th December 1918 he was discharged from the Army because he was 'surplus to military requirements (having suffered impairment since entry into the service)'.

Thomas received a Silver War Badge with the serial number B85421 to show he had been honourably discharged because of his illness or wounds.

We don't know what Thomas did during the rest of his life. His medals were presented to the Museum of the Manchester Regiment in early 1939.

Museum of the Manchester Regiment
c/o Portland Basin Museum
Portland Place
Heritage Wharf
Ashton-under-Lyne
OL7 0QA

Telephone: 0161 343 2878
Email: Portland.Basin@tameside.gov.uk
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Tameside Metropolitan Borough logo
Esmee Fairbairn Collections Fund logo
Trustees of the Manchester Regiment Museum & Archive and Tameside Metropolitan Borough Council