(L to R) 1914-15 Star; British War Medal
We don't know anything about Thomas' early life or family. We believe he was from Bradford, although we don't know whether this was Bradford in Yorkshire or Bradford in Manchester.
The First World War broke out in August 1914 and Thomas joined the Army between September and November of that year. He joined one of the Territorial Force battalions of the Manchester Regiment; either the 5th, 6th, 7th or 8th. We don't know which battalion he joined, but he was given the service number 2872.
All four battalions were mobilised at the start of the war and sent to Egypt in early September. They would serve together in the 127th Brigade until February 1918. They took part in the invasion of Gallipoli in early May 1915, and took heavy casualties during the fighting there. They all needed reinforcements, and Thomas was one of the men sent. He arrived in Gallipoli on the 10th September 1915.
Gallipoli was evacuated in late December 1915 and early January 1916, and the 127th Brigade returned to Egypt. It was stationed in this country until February 1917 when it sailed to France and joined the fighting on the Western Front. It fought in France during the spring and summer before moving north to Belgium during August.
The brigade guarded the North Sea coast at Nieuwpoort until November, and then moved south to France again. It helped to defeat the German Spring Offensive that began on the 21st March 1918.
At some point Thomas was transferred to the King's (Liverpool Regiment). We don't know which battalion he joined. He was given the service number 101983, which suggests he joined them in around April or May 1918.
Thomas survived the war, but the rest of his life remains a mystery. His medals were donated to the Museum of the Manchester Regiment in April 2006. As well as his 1914-15 Star and British War Medal, Thomas was also awarded the Allied Victory Medal for his Army service.