THOMSON, William Henry

No.514500, Private, William Henry THOMSON
Aged 19

14th (London Scottish) Battalion, London Regiment
Killed in Action on 24th November 1917

William Henry Thomson was born in 1898 in Warlingham(1st qtr 1898 Godstone 2a:201) son of David and Isabella Jane THOMSON (née HALLUM)

1901 census...Aged 3, he was at Dean Farm, Merstham with his father David THOMSON [34] farmer born Clackmananshire, Scotland; his mother Isabella Jane [31] born Perthshire, Scotland; brothers Samuel [6], Walter [5],David [4], Edgar A [2] and sister Jane E [2 months]. The brothers all born in Warlingham, sister born Merstham.]

1911 census...Aged 13, working on father's farm. He was at Dean Farm, Merstham with his parents; brother Samuel Ernest (working on farm), Walter H, David Joseph, Edgar Alexander, John Donaldson [9] and Francis Reginald Edward [3]; sisters Mary Carrie [9] (twin of John) and Kathleen Isabella [2]. The four youngest born in Merstham.

The family moved to Great Barton in 1916 from Merstham in Surrey. William's mother died at the end of May 1917
In 1919 the family was at Cattishall, Great Barton, Bury St. Edmund's.

His brother Walter was killed earlier the same year. They were both in the same battalion, (from their numbers, having been mobilised together) see here

He enlisted at Redhill and was mobilised on 9th November 1916 as 514500 in 14th Battalion London Regiment (London Scottish). He gave his age as 18 years 10 months, a farm worker from Cattishall, Great Barton, 5 feet 6.75 inches tall, chest 32 to 33.5 inches, weighed 140 lbs, next of kin his father David Thomson of Cattishall, Great Barton, 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 24th November the battalion diary has:- After daylight, enemy commenced persistent bombardment with heavy shells of the support trench between INCHY ROAD and CT at E.13.c.40.30 and at 1:45 pm the heavy barrage came down on the front and support trenches of HINDENBURG front line and the old German outpost line, between INCHY - LOUVERVAL road and CANAL du NORD. This lasted about an hour. The enemy then attacked with very strong bombing parties from the west along the support trench and from the HINDENBURG support line down the TADPOLE LANE and the CT in E.13.a At the same time parties came across the open from HINDENBURG support line towards the support trench held by us in D.18.d. The attack was sudden and in strength and both A and D Coys and left Coy of 4th LONDONS were driven from their blocks and in several cases cut off from the supply of bombs. After holding out for a short time they were compelled to withdraw along CTs to front line. Those who were cut off from the CTs came across the open. Casualties in these Coys were heavy.
Blocks were immediately established in TADPOLE LANE, the CT between front and support trench immediately to NW of TADPOLE COPSE and in support trench at E.13.c.35.50
B Coy who were all this time holding a very extended front then were ordered to withdraw to a point in front trench about D.18.c.70.85 and the enemy were held.

CWGC has 43 killed, only 3 have an identified grave

Parents grave in Great Barton

William Thompson is commemorated on the Cambrai Memorial, Louverval panels 11 and 12

click here to go to the Commonwealth War Graves Commission website for full cemetery/memorial details