|Pte James Thomas|
Killed in Action 31st July 1917
Buried at Artillery Wood Cemetery.
Mrs. Thomas has received the following letter from a captain in the Welsh Guards, in which her husband, Pte James Thomas of Haslingden, was killed in action on July 31st 1917:
"I regret very much to have to inform you that during the advance your husband was killed by a shell. Please accept my very sincere sympathy with you in your great loss. Your husband will be greatly missed by the company.
He had always shown an excellent example out here by his cheerfulness under all conditions.
The deceased was the youngest son of Mr and Mrs. Christian Thomas, of 1 Whittle Street, Grane Road, and he also leaves a wife and child. He was 24, and joined up in October 1916.
PRIVATE THOMAS FALLS IN THE WELSH GUARDS,
ONE OF THREE HASLINGDEN SOLDIER BROTHERS
Word has been received that Private James Thomas, Welsh Guards, youngest son of Mr. and Mrs. Christian Thomas, was killed in action on July 31st 1917. He was 24, and joined up in October 1916. He leaves a wife and a child at Top Oth' Brow, Helmshore, and his parents live at Whittle Street, Grane Road.
He was employed at Holden Wood Bleachworks for nine years, and was well respected. He was a scholar at Helmshore Wesleyan Sunday School, and a member of Haslingden Temperance Band for a number of years. His father has been for nine years in the same band. The eldest son (William Henry), who is serving in France, was also in the band. The deceased's other brother (George) has been gassed, and is now working on munitions in Scotland.
Killed in Action, July 31st 1917 Pte. James Thomas, Welsh Guards, in his 24th year, beloved husband of Elizabeth Ann Thomas, Top O'th' Brow, Helmshore, and youngest son of Christian and Agnes Thomas of Whittle Street, Grane Road, Haslingden.
"He like a soldier fell."
"He sleeps not in his native land,
But neath a foreign sky,
Far from the mother who loved him dear,
In a hero's grave he lies.
Sweet be your rest, my son, so dear.
Tis sweet to breathe your name;
In life we loved you very dear,
In death we do the same.
From his sorrowing Wife and Child, Father, Mother, Sisters and Brothers
"I hoped to see your face again,
I hoped to clasp your hand,
But God has postponed the meeting,
Until we meet in the Better Land.
From his Wife and Daughter, Top O'th Brow, Helmshore.
"It may be a soldier's honour,
In his country's cause to fall,
But we cannot think of the glory,
For the pain it has caused us all.
We pictured his safe returning,
We longed to clasp his hand.
But God has postponed the meeting,
Till we meet in the better Land".
From his sorrowing Mother, Father, Sisters and Brothers (Will in France, George at Bristol)
"Forgotten to the world by some he may be,
But dear to our memory he ever shall be".
From Father, Mother and Sisters, 71 Grane Road.
|James Thomas with young Alice and his wife Elizabeth Ann (Click over photo to enlarge)|
|The Thomas Boys with mother Agnes and father Christian|
|Private James Thomas (Please Click over photo to enlarge)|
Christine Jefferson said on 26th February 2017...
My Grandfather Pte James Thomas 3313 1st Btl Welsh Guards came from Helmshore. The Welsh Guards were in the front line on the first day of the Battle of Passchendale 31st July 1917 & he was killed at Langmark on that day..He was buried in a temproary battle field cemetery & re interred at Artillery Wood Cemetery,Boesinge.He left his wife Elizabeth Ann & his 3 year old daughter Alice who lived at Top of the Brow , Helmshore . His parents , brothers & sisters lived in Haslingden.
We have visited Artillery Wood twice over the years. We have applied for tickets for the official 100th Commemeration Services on 31st July at Tyne Cot . The Welsh Guards pilgrims , ( retired Guardsmen ) will be at Artillery Wood on that day & will perform a rememberance on our behalf . Christine Jefferson.
Photos showing above are:
James, Elizabeth Ann and Alice.
The Thomas boys with mother Agnes and father Christian.