Private 3101 Thomas Turley

Turley Thomas 96 346x600Turley Thomas 96 407x600

Killed in Action on Friday, 1st September 1916, age 24.
Buried in Grave II. H. 2. at Auchonvillers Military Cemetery, Somme, France.

'D' Company of 1st/7th Bn., Worcestershire Regiment. 144th Brigade of 48th Division.

Son of William and Sarah Turley, of 3 Court, 3 House, Coneygre Rd., Dudley Port, Tipton, Staffs. Native of Dudley Port.
Born: Tipton, Enlisted: Dudley, Resident: Tipton.

First landed France & Flanders, 31st 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/72159/

Genealogical Data

1901 Census
191 Dudley Port, Tipton, Staffs.
William Turley (33, Roller in Iron Works, born Tipton), his wife Sarah (34, born Tipton), and their 2 children: Alfred (12, born Tipton) and Thomas (9, born Tipton).

1911 Census
3 Court 3 House, Coneygree Road, Dudley Port, Tipton, Staffs.
William Turley (43, Labourer, born Dudley Port), his wife Sarah (43, born Dudley Port), and their 2 surviving children of 5: Alfred (21, Labourer, born Dudley Port) and Thomas (19, Labourer, born Dudley Port).

Personal Data

After Thomas's death, his army pay and allowances had been overpaid by the sum of £1/5/10d (1 pounds, 5 shillings and 10 pence). His family was informed but there is nothing to suggest that any action was taken, or payment received. His War Gratuity was £9/0/0d (9 pounds exactly), this was paid to his father, William, in November 1920. The value of the War Gratuity suggests that Thomas had enlisted in approximately August 1914.

Action resulting in his death

From Stacke's The Worcestershire Regiment in the Great War'.
"On August 26th and 27th the battalions of the 144th Brigade marched from Bouzincourt to Forceville. The Brigade had been ordered to take over part of the line facing Beaumont Hamel from the 6th Division. The two Worcestershire battalions (the 1/7th & 1/8th) went into the trenches side by side facing Beaumont Hamel. In the position the two battalions remained until September 5th, suffering some few casualties."

The Black Country Bugle of 6th September 2007 reported extracts from the diary of Sydney Amphlett about his time in 1/7th Worcesters "We were now standing-by whilst an attack was made on Thiepval to our right flank. We sent gas bombs over to the enemy and got heavily shelled in return. On 5th September we were relieved by the Ox. & Bucks."

Newspaper Cuttings

Tipton Herald 14th October 1916.
Private Thomas Turley, of the 1/7th Worcestershire Regiment, the youngest son of Mr William and Mrs Sarah Turley, Coneygree Road, Dudley Port, has been killed in action. He enlisted one month after the outbreak of war, and was drafted to France in April 1915. Before enlisting he was employed by Messrs Holcroft, Dudley Port. After he had joined the colours, his manager offered to bring him back to his work, but he wrote, thanking him for his kind offer, and pointed out that single men were wanted so as to enable married men to go home. He therefore remained with the colours.
Private Tom Turley is an old scholar of Burnt Tree Council School, and was 24 years of age. After a short training, he volunteered for foreign service, but he was given about seven months training before being drafted out.
A comrade, writing to Private Turley's mother said:- "On the night of 31st August he was warned off, with another, for a working party. It was necessary for them to get on the top to work, and it made the job very risky and unpleasant, but I never heard Tom complain. They had hardly got on the top when the Germans sent over a "whizz-bang" which caught your son in the middle of the back. His comrade was more fortunate. By a miracle he was missed, though only a few feet away. His comrade - Frank Tomkins - crawled out and found him lying quite dead, four yards from where he was hit. Your son was given a decent burial, his funeral being attended by his Company Commander, the Chaplain, and six of his comrades. At the conclusion of the service, the Company Commander walked alongside his grave and saluted. We marched back to our billets almost broken-hearted. He will be missed for many a long day as a good soldier and as good a hearted pal as anyone could wish to have. A cross marks his last resting place, bearing the name, rank, number and regiment, with the words 'Rest in Peace' ".