Private 42831 Thomas Hobday

Killed in Action on Friday, 25th October 1918, age 19.
Commemorated on Panel 7 of Vis-En-Artois Memorial, Pas De Calais, France.

2nd Bn., Essex Regiment. 12th Brigade of 4th Division.
Formerly 21193 Leicestershire Regiment.

Son of Mrs Prudence Hobday, of 34, Factory Rd., Tipton, Staffordshire.
Born: Tipton, Enlisted: Wolverhampton, Resident: Tipton.

First landed France & Flanders, post 31st December 1915.
Medal entitlement: British War Medal, Victory Medal.
Soldier's Papers at National Archives did not survive.

Commemorated on the Tipton Library Memorial.
Commemorated here because he appears on a Tipton memorial.

Link to Commonwealth War Graves Site: www.cwgc.org/find-war-dead/casualty/1743724/

Genealogical Data

Birth of Thomas Hobday registered September quarter 1899 in Dudley.

1901 Census
4 Walton Street, Tipton, Staffs.
Joseph Turner (55, Labourer, born Tipton), his wife Ann (57, born Dudley), their 2 children: Mary Ann (28, born Tipton), and Thomas (24, Furnace Labourer, born Tipton), and his step-daughter Louisa Andrews (19, Tailor's Finisher, born Tipton).
Also Joseph's married step-daughter
Prudence Hobday (21, born Tipton), and her 3 children: Joseph W. (3, born Tipton), Thomas (1, born Tipton), and Louisa (6 months, born Tipton).

1911 Census
6 Chapel Street, Tipton, Staffs.
William Hobday (59, Widower, Iron Moulder , born West Bromwich ), his 2 daughters: Florence (19, Factory Hand Labourer, born Tipton) and Rosalyn (13, School, born Mexborough).
Also his daughter-in-law Prudence Hobday (31, born Tipton), and her 7 surviving children of 10: Joseph William (12, School, born Tipton), Thomas (11, School, born Tipton), Louisa (10, School, born Tipton), Blanche Rosalyn (9, born Tipton), Edward (7, born Castleton), Hubert (5, born Tipton), Leonard (5 months, born Tipton).

Personal Data

After Thomas's death, his outstanding army pay and allowances amounted to £11/14/4d (11 pounds, 14 shillings and 4 pence); this was paid to his mother, Prudence, in February 1921. His War Gratuity was £3/10/0d (3 pounds and 10 shillings), this was also paid to his mother in February 1921. The value of the War Gratuity suggests that Thomas had enlisted in approximately October 1917.

Action resulting in his death

The Battle of the Selle commenced on 17th October 1918 and forced the German defenders further eastwards towards the Belgian border, across territory they had held since 1914.

On the morning of 25th October 12th Brigade, including Thomas's 2nd Essex, took up the task near the village of Maing, about 3 miles south of Valenciennes. The 2nd Essex with the 2nd Lancashire Fusiliers on their right, advanced following the British barrage as closely as possible. Very little resistance was offered by the few enemy who were encountered. At early evening the enemy counter-attacked, but the attack was local and lacking in enthusiasm, and was successfully repulsed. Before evening the village of Querenaing had been occupied.

The War Diary records that only one Other Rank was killed on 25th October, this man was Thomas Hobday. Thomas has no known grave and is commemorated on the Vis-en-Artois Memorial.

Although too late for Thomas, the advance continued on the next day and the next German line of resistance on the River Rhonelle was taken, and the eastward momentum of the Allied troops continued with just 2 weeks to go until the Armistice.

Newspaper Cuttings