Tipton

Remembers

Private 3544 Thomas Lowe


Killed in Action on Wednesday, 13th October 1915, age 28.
Commemorated on Panel 73 to 76 of Loos Memorial, Pas De Calais, France.

1st/6th Bn., South Staffordshire Regiment. 137th Brigade of 46th Division.

Son of the late Alfred and Phoebe Lowe; husband of Lily Maud Baker (formerly Lowe), of 44, Foundry St., Coseley, Bilston, Staffs.
Born: Bilston, Enlisted: Wolverhampton, Resident: Tipton.

First landed France & Flanders, 5th March 1915.
Medal entitlement: 1914-15 Star, British War Medal, Victory Medal.
Soldier's Papers at National Archives did not survive.

Not commemorated on any Tipton memorial.
Commemorated here because identified as Tipton on 'Soldiers Died in the Great War'.

Link to Commonwealth War Graves Site: www.cwgc.org/find-war-dead/casualty/734480/


Genealogical Data

1901 Census
4 Webb Street, Sedgley, Staffs.
Eliza Trawford (75, Widow, Head, born Sedgley), her son-in-law Alfred Lowe (49, Shingler, born Sedgley), his wife Phoebe (48, born Sedgley), and their son Thomas (13, Holloware Moulder, born Sedgley).

1911 Census
1 Haveacre, Deepfields, Coseley, Staffs.
Alfred Lowe (59, Widower, Cinder Breaker, born Coseley), his son Thomas (23, Colliery Labourer, born Coseley) and Thomas's wife Lily (21, born Coseley).


Personal Data

None Available.


Action resulting in his death

The 1/6th South Staffs arrived in France between the 3rd and 5th March 1915. They moved to Armentieres on 20th March and then to Fletre for further training. In April the battalion marched to Wulveringhem in Belgium alternating between trench duties and further training. In June 1915 they moved nearer to Ypres, and for the next 2 months spent time at the feared Hill 60.

On 2nd October the 1/6th moved back into France to take part in the second stage of the Loos Offensive. Further training preceded the march to the assembly trenches near Vermelles on 12th October.

At noon on 13th October, a fine sunny day, the attack commenced. The 1/5th and 1/6th South Staffs were to attack the West Face of the heavily defended Hohenzollern Redoubt, from the trench known as Big Willie which was already partly held by the 1/5th South Staffs. The South Staffs battalions were to attack in 4 waves; 'B' and 'C' companies of the 1/5th, followed by 'A' and 'D' companies of the 1/5th, followed by 'A' and 'C' companies of the 1/6th, and finally 'B' and 'D' companies of the 1/6th.

The first wave hardly got out of their trench due to devastating machine gun fire decimating their number. The second wave made their advance unaware of the disaster in front of them and suffered similarly high casualties. The third wave followed on as ordered, as they too were unaware of the situation in front due to lack of communication and the smoke intended to mask the South Staffs advance. The fourth wave also took losses, but at this point the attack was called off.

The 1/5th South Staffs, who provided the first and second waves, had over 100 men killed on the day or died from wounds in the next week. The 1/6th South Staffs, who provided the third and fourth waves, lost over 125 men. The attack was a costly failure and this in effect was the culmination of the Battle of Loos. This was the single most expensive day for the 46th (North Midlands) Division, even though it was involved in July 1st 1916 at Gommecourt. The Division had casualties of 180 Officers and 3583 Other Ranks. As Edmonds wrote in the Official History ".. it was a long time before the Division recovered from the effects of 13th October."

Thomas Lowe, like the majority of the men killed here, has no known grave and is commemorated on the Loos Memorial at Dud Corner, in sight of the Hohenzollern Redoubt.


Newspaper Cuttings

None.