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Thomas Cowperthwaite was born in 1895 in Preston, the son of John and Ellen Cowperthwaite (nee Worthington). Thomas had five siblings, William (b.1887), John (b.1888), George (b.1890), Edward (b.1898) and a sister called May (b.1900).

At the time of the 1911 Census Thomas was living at home with his parents John and Ellen and his brothers William, George and Edward and also his sister May. The family were in a 5 roomed house at 2 Acregate Lane, Preston. Thomas was employed as a cotton spinner.

On the 9th February 1915 Thomas enlisted in the Territorial Army at Preston and was posted into the 4th Battalion LNL. He was given the number 3714 which would later become 201289. His medical inspection report states that he was 5`5” tall and had a 33 inch chest; he had normal vision and was of good physical development.

Prior to departing for France, Thomas suffered with dermatitis and spent a total of thirty one days in hospital from 13/9/16 to 13/10/16.

At Blackdown Camp on the 28th January 1917 Thomas got into a bit of trouble and was reprimanded for disobeying orders.

On the 17th February 1917 Thomas embarked at Southampton with the 2/4th Battalion bound for France.

On the 4th June 1917 Thomas was wounded in action having received gunshot wounds to his chest and right leg. He was admitted to 7 General Hospital at St. Omer.

The Divisional History explains

Towards the end of May, to relieve the Second Army and II. Anzac Corps of the responsibilities outside the active area, the 57th Division sector right up to the Lys was transferred to XI. Corps of the First Army. The defensive front of the Corps, as contrasted with the offensive front on which the three divisions were preparing their spring on Messines, was thus restricted to the short sector from the Lys to St. Yves, held by the 3rd Australian Division. To relieve its garrison a separate force of two battalions of the already extended 57th Division was brought up on the 3rd June north of the Lys and attached for tactical purposes to the 3rd Australians.

The two battalions mentioned, as detached from the 57th Division, were the 2/4th and 2/5th Battalions of the Loyal North Lancs and in the War Diary of the Battalion it is stated that the task of this two-battalion detachment was “to hold the front from the River Lys to St. Yves as a defensive front on which other operations will pivot”. With this small detached force the Battalion remained for some ten days, taking its share of duty with Australian battalions and during almost the whole period of its absence from the Division being subjected to an especially heavy bombardment by all descriptions of “heavy stuff”. The casualties suffered were naturally very many, these amounted to one officer, 2nd Lt W.H. Dickson and fourteen other ranks killed. Lieutenant and Adjutant J.S. Kay and one hundred non-commissioned officers and men wounded.

Private Thomas Cowperthwaite died from his wounds on 22nd June 1917. The following report appeared in the local paper;


Thomas`s family took receipt of the few possessions that were returned to them including letters, photographs, cards, pocket wallet, 2 keys, 1 purse and 1 ID Disc.

Private Thomas Cowperthwaite was awarded the British War and Victory Medals and is buried with honour at the Longuenesse (St. Omer) Souvenir Cemetery.

Rank: Private
Service No: 201289
Date of Death: 22/06/1917
Age: 22
Regiment/Service: The Loyal North Lancashire Regiment, “C” Coy. 2nd/4th Bn.

This article was compiled by Janet Davis

Janet Davis
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One Response to 201289 PTE. T. COWPERTHWAITE. L.N.LAN.R

  1. Tony Cowperthwaite says:

    Thanks for this snippet of info Janet, although not an immediate ancestor, but could be one of a distant line.
    Keep up the good work

    regards Tony

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