History & Architecture,  WW1 Memorials

Remembering the Fallen of the Great War – Richard William Harold Thomas

Richard William Harold Thomas

Trooper :: Household Battalion

Died of wounds :: 10th December 1917 :: France

The memorial in the churchyard reads:
‘Also of Trooper R. W. H. Thomas,
Son of the above {William & Naomi Thomas},
Died of wounds (interred Tilloy France)
Dec. 10th 1917, Aged 27 years.

Richard William Harold Thomas was born in Welshpool in 1891. He was the eldest son of William and Naomi Thomas. William was a cabinet maker and the family lived at 24 Raven Street. The house has since been demolished and new bungalows have been built on the site. In later years the family lived at 6 Raven Street.

Raven Street

In 1901, when Harold was 10 years old, he was staying with his mothers family in Churchstoke.
At the age of 20 in 1911, he was working as a Baker in Weston Rhyn near Gobowen, Oswestry.

Harold enlisted with the Household Battalion, possibly in January 1917. He may have served in a different regiment beforehand as the Household Battalion was formed from troops of the Household Cavalry. More infantrymen were needed on the Western Front so the cavalrymen were retrained as foot soldiers.

During 1917, the Household Battalion were involved in the Battle of the Somme, the Battle of Arras, the Third Battle of Ypres (Passchendaele) and the Battle of Cambrai in late November, early December.

Harold died from wounds on 10th December 1917. He is buried at Tilloy British Cemetery, Tilloy-Les-Mofflaines near Arras, France.

A detailed account of Harold’s story is on display as part of the ‘Remembering the Fallen of the Great War at Christ Church’ exhibition.

Previously published stories of WW1 memorials at Christ Church can be seen here.