THORNTON, Frederick Edward

Major, Frederick Edward THORNTON
Aged 37

105th Mahratta Light Infantry
formerly Royal Scots Fusiliers
Killed in Action on Sunday, 25th March 1917

Frederick Edward Thornton was born in Northampton (Northampton Q1-1880 3B:72), baptised in Northampton St Sepulchre on 28th March 1880, son of Rev Frederick Ferdinand Martin Schleider and Harriet Emily THORNTON (née WOOLSTON).

1881 census...Aged 1, he was at 50 Sheep Street, St.Sepulchre, Northampton with his father Rev Frederick Ferdinand Martin Schleider THORNTON [35] born Hamburg,Germany (British subject); his mother Harriet Emily [35] born Wellingborough, Northants; brother Bernard M [1 month ] born Northampton

1891 census...Aged 11, he was at The Manor House,Nuneaton High Road, Mancetter, Atherstone with his mother Harriet Emily [45] born Wellingborough, Northants; brothers Archibald Clement [4] and Bernard Martin [10] both born in Northampton and Gerard Frederick [9] born Dallington, Northants.
His father was visiting Rev Augustus Miller at The Rectory, Wootton, Northants.

He was educated at Wellngton College and Sandhurst. Gazetted to the Royal Scot Fusiliers in 1899.

1901 census...Not yet found. His parents were at the Rectory, Downham.

In 1904, his father bought Shudy Camps Park, which at the time comprised six farms, twenty houses and a pub.

1911 census...Aged 31, single, he was a Captain in the 1st Battalion, Royal; Scots Fusiliers in South Africa. His parents were at Shudy Camps Hall

On 8th August 1914, a Captain in the Indian Army, he married in St John's, Edinburgh, Gertrude Alice Scott THORBURN [25] of 8 Roseberry Crescent, Edinburgh, daughter of the late Sir Walter and Lady Elizabeth THORBURN of Peebles. Shortly before the war he exchanged into the Indian Army and was attached to the 105th Mahratta Light Infantry. In 1915 he was sent as second in command with them to Mesopotamia. Prominent in the fighting around Kut al Amara.

His father was Vicar at St Mary's Shudy Camps from 1919 to 1938. His mother collapsed and died in the church at Shudy Camps two weeks before the end of the war as she was laying flowers in memory of her two sons.

His brother Bernard served as Major in the 2nd Seaforth Highlanders, and another brother, Archibald served in the Canadian Infantry and died of his wounds received in Belgium in 1915. see here

The regiment did not leave India until August 1916, having spent the first two years of the war on railway defence duties in India.
On March 25th 1917 he was in command of the regiment due to the illness of the Colonel. Peering over the top of a ridge to see exactly where the enemy were he was hit by a sniper with a bullet through the head. His body was not recovered.

Basra memorial before it was moved by Saddam Hussein

Frederick Thornton is commemorated on the Basra Memorial, panels 48 and 66

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