Museum of the Manchester Regiment
The Men Behind the Medals

Thomas Rimmer

Thomas Rimmer :

Thomas Rimmer : Allied Victory Medal

Allied Victory Medal

Thomas Rimmer was born on the 29th March 1886. He was the son of John and Sarah Rimmer, and was one of fifteen children. In 1891 the family lived at 5 Massam’s Lane in Formby and John was employed as a gardener. By 1901 they were living at Gores Lane, Formby and John was managing a carriages stable. Thomas had left school and was working with his father as a stable boy. In 1911 Thomas was still living with his family and now working as a carriage proprietor and driver.

Thomas married Phyllis Hogarth on the 22nd December 1912 at Christ Church, Everton. They lived together at 93 Robson Street in Everton. The couple’s first daughter, Margaret Ann was born in February 1915

Thomas enlisted in the Army on the 2nd September 1914. He joined the King’s (Liverpool) Regiment and was given the service number 14442. He was recorded as 5 feet, 5 and-a-half inches tall, with blue eyes and fair hair, and gave his occupation as labourer.

Initially posted to the regimental depot, Thomas arrived at 16th Battalion of the King’s (Liverpool) Regiment for further training at West Kirby on the 28th November 1914. The battalion subsequently moved to Kinmel Park near Abergele and Prees Heath, Shropshire. Thomas had a mixed disciplinary record and had to forfeit pay on several occasions in 1915.

Thomas transferred to the 1st Battalion of the Manchester Regiment on the 11th January 1916 and was allocated a service number of 37059. He joined the battalion in Basra, Mesopotamia (now Iraq) on the 20th February. He contracted enteritis (inflammation of the small intestine) and was admitted to hospital on the 9th April. After treatment at Amara he left for India on the hospital ship Valera, leaving Basra on the 31st May 1916.

Arriving in Bombay on the 7th June 1916 he was treated in hospital and joined the Manchester Regiment Depot at Bangalore on the 24th June. During this time Phyllis gave birth to the couple’s second daughter, Elizabeth Jane, in September 1916. Thomas had also fathered another child in June 1908, and the child’s mother, Mary Walsh, successfully claimed maintenance payments in his absence. The Army maintained these payments from December 1916.

Thomas was then transferred to 1st Garrison Battalion in India on the 6th February 1918. Thomas moved again to 1st Garrison Battalion Lincolnshire Regiment with the service number of 32394 on the 21st July 1918. He remained in India serving in Calcutta until September 1919.

After returning to England and being demobilised he was transferred to the Army Reserve on the 23rd December 1919 aged 33. He returned to his family at 93 Robson Street Liverpool. By 1939 the family lived at Mitylene Street in Everton and Thomas was working as a labourer. The couple now had six children.

Thomas died in April 1941 aged 55 and is buried at Anfield Cemetry. Phyllis died in 1965 and is also buried at Anfield Cemetry.

Thomas was awarded the British War Medal and Allied Victory Medal for his service during the First World War. However, only the Victory Medal is known to have survived. It was donated to the museum collections in 2019.

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

Telephone: 0161 342 5480
Email: Portland.Basin@tameside.gov.uk
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Esmee Fairbairn Collections Fund logo
Army Museums Ogilby Trust logo
Trustees of the Manchester Regiment Museum & Archive and Tameside Metropolitan Borough Council