No.514495, Private, Walter Hallum THOMSON
14th (London Scottish) Battalion, London Regiment
Walter Hallum Thomson was born in 1895 in Warlingham (3rd qtr 1895 Godstone 2a:206) son of David and Isabella Jane THOMSON (née HALLUM)
1901 census...Aged 5, he was at Dean Farm, Merstham with his father David THOMSON  farmer born Clackmananshire, Scotland; his mother Isabella Jane  born Perthshire, Scotland; brothers Samuel , David , William H , Edgar A  and sister Jane E [2 months]. The brothers all born in Warlingham, sister born Merstham.]
1911 census...Aged 15, working on father's farm. he was at Dean Farm, Merstham with his parents; brother Samuel Ernest (working on farm), David Joseph, William Harry, Edgar Alexander, John Donaldson  and Francis Reginald Edward ; sisters Mary Carrie  (twin of John) and Kathleen Isabella . The four youngest born in Merstham.
The family moved to Great Barton in 1916 from Merstham in Surrey. Walter's mother died at the end of May 1917
In 1919 the family was at Cattishall, Great Barton, Bury St. Edmund's.
His brother William was killed in November of the same year. They were both in the same battalion, (from their numbers, having been mobilised together) see here
He enlisted in the Queen's Royal West Surrey Regiment (No.8760) at Redbridge on 4th December 1915 and mobilised on 9th November 1916 as
514495 in 14th Battalion London Regiment (London Scottish). He gave his age as 20 years 4 months, a farm worker from Dean Farm, Mertsham,
Surrey . 5 feet 5.75 inches tall, chest 33.5 to 36 inches, weighed 131 lbs, next of kin his father David, Church of England.
Posted to BEF on 29th January 1917.|
Army Form 5080, living relatives, completed by his father in 1919 records his mother died on 27th May 1917. Father, brothers Edgar and Francis, sisters Catherine Isabella and Christina Doris were living at Cattishall, Great Barton. Brother Samuel was a Private in the Canadian Army and brother David was in the Army (address Acton, Sudbury.
On 5th May the battalion was in the Monchy le Preux area. The war diary has:-
At 10 am A and B Coys were ordered to send out patrols to reconnoitre TOOL TRENCH to ascertain whether and how it was held by the enemy. MG fire was turned on the patrols and A Coy patrol all became casualties. B Coy patrol all returned safely and reported that enemy snipers were occupying shell holes in front of the trench.
Fighting patrols were sent out at 9 pm but were compelled to withdraw on account of heavy enemy shelling. At midnight the patrol got to within 30 yards of TOOL TRENCH which was strongly held. Owing to rifle and MG fire it was found impossible to enter the trench.
CWGC has 5 killed
click here to go to the Commonwealth War Graves Commission website for full cemetery/memorial details