(L to R) 1914-15 Star; British War Medal; Allied Victory Medal
Thomas was born in 1886 in Lancashire. His father, also called Thomas, worked as a machine fitter and his mother was called Catherine. Thomas had three siblings, Martha, Ernest and John. They also lived with Catherine’s mother who was a widow, two of Thomas’s cousins and a boarder. They all lived together on Palmerston Street in Manchester.
Before the First World War Thomas worked as a packer. He married a woman called Catherine but they later divorced. They had two children together, Sylvester who was born on the 29th January 1915, and Winfred born on the 19th July 1916.
Thomas joined the Army on the 1st September 1914. He was placed in the 16th Battalion of the Manchester Regiment and given the service number 6393. Also known as the 1st City Battalion, this was a ‘pals battalion’ of local lads who enlisted, trained and fought together.
Thomas served in France where he was injured with a gunshot wound to the head during the Somme Offensive in July 1916. He was admitted to the 3rd Western General Hospital in Cardiff where he stayed until the 8th November. He re-joined the Manchester regiment on the frontline and was later injured again. This time it was a gunshot wound to the left leg. Thomas was sent to Nell Lane Military Hospital in West Didsbury on the 17th August 1918 and was discharged on the 13th of September. At some point, he was transferred to the 6th Battalion of the Manchester Regiment. He was demobilised on the 4th May 1919.
After the war Thomas lived at 44 Victoria Square on Oldham Road in Manchester. Details of his later life are unknown.
Thomas’s medals were donated to the museum collections in 2014.