Serjeant 3643 Thomas Daniel Prince

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Photograph of Thomas Prince's "Death Penny" at bottom of page.

Died Mesopotamia on Tuesday, 9th May 1916, age 22.
Buried in Grave XXI. F. 5. at Amara War Cemetery, Iraq.

9th Bn., Royal Warwickshire Regiment. 39th Brigade of 13th Division.

Son of Isaac Owen Prince and Jessie Harmer Prince, of 31, Greenhill Rd., Handsworth, Birmingham.
Born: Tipton, Enlisted: Dudley, Resident: Birmingham.

First landed Balkans, 13th July 1915.
Medal entitlement: 1914-15 Star, British War Medal, Victory Medal.
Soldier's Papers at National Archives did not survive.

Commemorated on the Birmingham Roll of Honour.
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/629878/

Genealogical Data

Birth of Thomas Daniel Prince registered June quarter 1894 in Dudley.

1901 Census
23 Moilliet Street, Birmingham.
Isaac Prince (62, Shop Keeper, born London), his wife Jessie Harmer (42, born Hawick, Scotland), and 3 of their 4 children: Mary E. (18, born Tipton), Percy I. (15, Railway Clerk for L.N.M.R., born Tipton), Pricilla (9, born Tipton), and Thomas D. (6, born Tipton).

1911 Census
31 Greenhill Road, Handsworth, Birmingham.
Isaac Prince (72, Army Pensioner, born Farnham, Surrey), his wife Jessie Harmer (53, Monthly Nurse, born Hawick, Scotland), and 3 of their 4 children: Percy Isaac (25, Railway Clerk, born Tipton), Pricilla Sarah (19, Electroplate Warehouse, born Tipton), and Thomas Daniel (16, Silver Smith - Learner, born Tipton).

Personal Data

Thomas Daniel Prince was born into a military family. The 1881 Census shows Isaac Owen Prince (age 40, born Farnham, Surrey) and wife Jessie (23, born Scotland) living at Victoria Barracks, 8th Brigade Depot, Beverley, Yorkshire. Isaac was Colour Sergeant with the East Yorks Militia. By the time of the 1891 Census, the Prince family (now with 2 children) were living at 2 Park Lane West, Tipton (next to the Navigation Inn). Isaac was a Sergeant Instructor with the Volunteers - this would probably have been the South Staffs which had a Volunteer Battalion in Tipton at that time.

Thomas Daniel Prince was one of the men who joined the Battalion in 1914. They left from Frimley Train Station on the 17th and 18th June 1915, and sailed to Gallipoli on H.M.T. Royal Edward, they landed via the River Clyde at V Beach, Cape Helles.

The Battalion lost their Lt. Colonel to a sniper in July, then they was moved up to Anzac Cove, in the attempt to break out of the Anzac Sector. This is where Corporal 3643 Thomas Daniel Prince was wounded on the 10th August when the Battalion was fighting above Anzac. Corporal T. D. Prince rejoined his Battalion some time early January 1916 at the rank of Sergeant.

After Thomas' death, his outstanding army pay and allowances amounted to £2/10/10d (2 pounds, 10 shillings and 10 pence); this was paid to his mother and sole legatee, Jessie H., in January 1917. His War Gratuity was £8/10/0d (8 pounds and 10 shillings), this was also paid to his mother in September 1919. The value of the War Gratuity suggests that Thomas had enlisted in approximately September 1914.

Action resulting in his death

The 9th Battalion, Royal Warwickshire Regiment (9/RW) were part of 13th (Western) Division. They had served in Gallipoli in 1915 before the January 1916 evacuation. In March 1916 they disembarked at Basra, Mesopotamia.

General Townshend and the 6th (Poona) Division of the Indian Army had been besieged in Kut al Amara since December 1915, and 13th Division were added to the forces trying to relieve the siege. The Turks had created a number of strong defensive lines intended to prevent British forces reaching Kut.

After an initial British success in January 1916, the Turkish defensive lines strengthened and were still resisting when the 13th Division arrived in April 1916. April 5th was a day of great success for the 13th Division taking 2 entire trench systems, but again the Turkish defences stiffened and resisted further advances.

The troops in Kut could wait no longer, and on April 29th Townshend was forced to surrender. The 9/RW had over 10 Officers and 100 men killed in the actions at Kut, with hundreds more wounded. The 9/RW were relieved by Indian troops, and marched back to Amara, 80 miles to the south-west.

Thomas Prince is recorded as ‘Died’ on 9th May rather than ‘Died of Wounds’, this suggests that his death would have been due to illness rather than wounds. On 9th May the Battalion War Diary states: 1 Other Rank wounded, 3 sick, 1 Other Rank died of Cholera – this would be Thomas Prince.

Thomas died at No. 8 British Field Ambulance, and is buried at Amara War Cemetery in modern-day Iraq.

Newspaper Cuttings


Prince Thomas Penny 96