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Thomas Holmes

Date of birth: 7.4.1895
Date of death: 21.11.1915
Area: Carr Gate, Wakefield
Regiment: Sherwood Foresters
Family information: Son of Frank and Alice Holmes
Service number: 15761

War Service

Thomas enlisted in Derby on 8th September 1914 aged 19 years and 130 days giving his occupation as collier. He was described as having blue eyes, light brown hair and a fair complexion and his height was 5 feet 5 ½ inches. His service records have his next of kin as his maternal grandmother Mrs Gibson of Park Road, Ripley but the Register of Soldiers’ Effects, which records who is entitled to inherit the deceased soldier’s effects, records his next of kin as his father. In his service records is a form which has been filled in by the Vicar of Outwood on 5th May 1919 which lists his parents as Frank and Alice Holmes of Low Fold Lawns Carr Gate. His brothers are listed as Reginald Shaw aged 19 of Leabrookes, John William aged 13 of Park Road, Ripley and Albert Edward aged 15 of Montpelier Road, Notts. There are also two sisters listed – Alice Mabel aged 26 of Park Road, Ripley and Gertrude Lucy aged 23 of Horsley Woodhouse.
He initially was posted to serve with the 14th Battalion of the Sherwood Foresters Regiment arriving in Boulogne on 28th July 1915, but then he was transferred to the 10th Battalion known as the “Chesterfields”, with Regimental number 15761. Thomas was killed on Sunday 21st November 1915.
The Derbyshire Courier printed an obituary on 4th December of that year stating that Mr and Mrs Cater of Cemetery Road Leabrooks with whom Thomas had been residing for the previous four years had received a letter from Private Hinchcliffe of the same battalion stating that he was “writing to inform you that Tom has been killed instantaneously by a German sniper. He did not suffer any pain. It was a great blow to me for a while, because I have been with him and knew him to be a great friend. I have lost a good pal.” It also stated that before enlistment Thomas had been working at Morewood’s New Pit.
Thomas is buried in the Menin Road South Cemetery in Belgium and is remembered on the war memorial at Somercotes Parish Church. He was awarded the 14/15 Star, The British War Medal and the Victory Medal.

Family Life

Thomas Frank Holmes was born in Ripley, Derbyshire to Frank and Alice (nee Gibson) on 7th April 1895. He was actually registered as Frank Thomas Holmes.
By the 1901 census his father Frank was back living with his parents and he had Frank Thomas living with him, while Alice was living with her parents and had the rest of the children with her – Mabel aged 7, Gertrude aged 5 and Reginald aged 1. His father Frank was a coal carter presumably employed by his grandfather Samuel who had a coal carting business.
By 1911 Thomas Frank Holmes had moved to Leabrooks near Alfreton, Derbyshire where he lived with his aunt and uncle and worked down the pit.

Photo of Menin Road South Cemetery. Rows of headstones and plants with a white stone cross memorial to the right with trees in the background. Menin Road South Cemetery

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