Private 31184 Thomas Thorpe

Thorpe Thomas 96 393x600

Killed in Action on Saturday, 24th August 1918, age 18.
Buried in Grave I. D. 4. at Queens Cemetery, Bucquoy, Pas De Calais, France.

1st/5th Bn., East Lancashire Regiment. 126th Brigade of 42nd Division.

Born: Gospel Oak, Enlisted: Tipton, 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 St. Mark's Memorial.
Commemorated here because he appears on a Tipton memorial.

Link to Commonwealth War Graves Site: www.cwgc.org/find-war-dead/casualty/558861/

Genealogical Data

Birth of Thomas Thorpe registered March quarter 1900 in Dudley.
1901 Census
50 Gospel Oak Road, Tipton, Staffs.
Walter Thorpe (25, Blast Furnaceman, born Tipton), his wife Sarah (24, born Tipton),and their 3 children: William (4, born Tipton), Eliza (2, born Tipton), and Thomas (1, born Tipton).

1911 Census
81 Ocker Hill Road, Tipton, Staffs.
Sarah Thorpe (34, Widow, born Tipton), and her 7 surviving children of 8: William (14, Blast Furnace Labourer, born Tipton), Eliza (12, School, born Tipton), Thomas (11, School, born Tipton), Walter (9, School, born Tipton), Benjamin (9, School, born Tipton), Gladys May (5, School, born Tipton), and George (2, born Tipton).

Personal Data

After Thomas's death, his outstanding army pay and allowances amounted to £8/6/5d (8 pounds, 6 shillings and 5 pence); this was paid to his mother, Sarah, in March 1919. His War Gratuity was £4/10/0d (4 pounds and 10 shillings), this was also paid to his mother in December 1919. The value of the War Gratuity suggests that Thomas had enlisted in approximately June 1917.

Action resulting in his death

The 1/5th East Lancs were part of 42nd (East Lancs) Division who were involved in the Second Battle of the Somme, from 21st August to 3rd September 1918. The First Battle of the Somme in 1918 had halted the German Spring Offensive, the second was a series of successful counter-offensives driving back the Germans.

Within the Second Battle of the Somme, the period from the 21st to 23rd August is referred to as the Battle of Albert, Albert being recaptured on the 22nd August. The next phase from the 31st August to 3rd September is referred to as the Second Battle of Bapaume. Of course the action did not stop with these neatly dated battles, and Thomas was killed in action on the 24th August, and is buried in Queens Cemetery, Bucquoy, some 6 miles to the north west of Bapaume.

Newspaper Cuttings