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Thomas Atkinson was born in 1892 in Preston the son of John and Elizabeth Atkinson (nee Noblett). Thomas`s parents were married in Preston in 1891. John and Elizabeth also had a daughter Alice Louise who was born in 1894 but sadly Alice Louise died the following year.

The 1901 Census shows Thomas and his mother living with his Grandmother Alice Noblett in a house on Leyland Road in Penwortham. Alice Noblett also had two of her other daughters in residence, Mary who was a music teacher and Edith. Alice Noblett also had three lodgers, Natalie Morro, 42 years old who was a singing teacher from Italy, Marie Morro aged 38 and 16 year old Ernest Morro. Thomas`s father was not with the family at the time so he may have been working away.

By 1911 John and Elizabeth had three more children, John (1902), William (1905) and Elizabeth (1907) but sadly Elizabeth died just before the 1911 Census was recorded. The family were now living at 42 Everton Gardens which was a small terraced property in the centre of Preston. John Atkinson was working as a cotton spinner in a local mill and Thomas was employed as an iron turner in a local foundry.

A view of Everton Gardens taken in 1936 can be found here: https://www.flickr.com/photos/rpsmithbarney/4988591316/

Thomas went to enlist at Preston on 4 September, 1914, he confirmed his age at the time was 22 years and 3 months and stated that he had no previous military service. At his medical inspection the Officer noted that he was 5`3” tall, weighed 105lbs and had a 33 inch chest. He had a pale complexion, brown eyes and dark hair. Thomas also declared that prior to his enlistment he had been an apprentice at Messrs. Atherton Brothers in Preston and that he was employed as a fitter.

Ten days after he signed his papers Thomas was posted to the 10th Battalion and allocated the service number 14000.

Thomas sailed to France with the 10th Battalion on 31 July, 1915. At some point he had also qualified as a machine gunner and was attached to the Machine Gun Section.

On the first of July 1916 the Battalion were in the trenches in the Gommecourt area and this is where Thomas received gunshot wounds to his right leg. He was taken to a casualty clearing station and then on to hospital. Thomas was then sent back to England via the Hospital Ship Asturias and by the 9th of July he had been admitted to the University War Hospital in Southampton.

Unfortunately as a result of his injuries Thomas had to have his right leg amputated below the knee. His papers suggest that he also had to endure a second amputation when the surgeons had to remove more of his right leg.

Sadly, Thomas died on the 12th July, 1916 in the University War Hospital at Southampton. His papers mention that his death was due to `shock`.

The following article and photograph appeared in the Preston Guardian a short while later.


Thomas`s service papers do say that some of his personal items were despatched back to his family in Preston but unfortunately there is no record of what these items were.

Thomas`s body was brought back home to Preston and he was laid to rest in Preston Old Cemetery.


Preston New Hall Lane Cemetery – Photo November 2014

Thomas was awarded the 1915 Star, British War and Victory Medals in recognition of his sacrifice for his country.

Rank: Private
Service No: 14000
Date of Death: 12/07/1916
Regiment/Service: The Loyal North Lancashire Regiment, 10th Bn.

Janet Davis
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