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silcock1Thomas Silcock was born in Preston, Lancashire in 1896, the son of Thomas and Elizabeth (nee Wilkinson).  Thomas`s parents were married at St. Luke’s Church, Preston in 1880 and their other children were James b.1881, Ann Jane b.1885, Elizabeth Ellen b.1887, Grace b.1889 and Maggie b.1893.

At the time of the 1911 Census Thomas was living at 57 Elcho Street, Preston with his parents and three of his sisters, Elizabeth Ellen, Grace and Maggie. Thomas`s occupation is listed as a brush maker.

On 26th May, 1915 Thomas enlisted at Preston and was placed in the 3/4th Battalion with the Service No. 3911 which would later become 201414. His medical papers describe Thomas as 5`4” tall, weight 126lbs and he had a 34” chest, his occupation at the time of enlistment was an apprentice French Polisher.

On the 10th November, 1915 Thomas embarked at Southampton with a 3rd body of reinforcements all bound for France.

At some point after this he was sent to join the 1/4th Battalion

1/4th Loyal North Lancs War Diary dated 30th July, 1916

On the 30th July, Church Parade was held, at which Brigadier-General G.T.G. Edwards presented Sergeants Entwistle and Lancaster with Military Medal ribbons won by them in the raids at BLAIRVILLE. Late that afternoon orders were received to be ready to move at very short notice, and the same night the Battalion left for the trenches at GUILLEMONT, occupying some old German communication trenches (Dublin and Casement trenches), which contained no dug-outs. Within a few hours of the Battalion`s arrival the enemy opened out on the trenches and battery positions in the vicinity with 5.9`s and heavier shells. Sec. Lts Orrell and Crane were wounded, as also were 15 other ranks. The total casualties for the month were three Officers and 34 other ranks.

On 31st July, 1916 Thomas was admitted to a Casualty Clearing Station with gunshot wounds to his back and buttocks and from there sent by 16 Ambulance Train to the 1st Australian Hospital in Rouen.  He then returned to England and was admitted to `K` Ward, 1st Western General Hospital, Liverpool for further treatment where he stayed until 4th November, 1916.

After leaving hospital having recovered from his wounds Thomas was then posted back to the 3rd Battalion for additional training and to prepare for going back to the front once more.

By the 12th June, 1917 Thomas was back in France and on 8th August he re-joined the 1/4th Battalion once again.

On 20th September, 1917 Thomas was wounded again, this time with a gunshot wound to his face. He was admitted to 9 General Hospital, Rouen on 22nd September, 1917 and 3 days later he was sent back to England again for treatment arriving at the King George Hospital, London on 26th September, 1917 where he remained until 15th November, 1917.

Thomas was then transferred to the Kings Lancashire Military Convalescent Hospital, Blackpool until 10th January, 1918 and then he was sent on leave.

On the 25th January 1918 after his return from leave Thomas was posted back to the 3rd Battalion once more.

On 2nd Apri, 1918 Thomas embarked at Folkestone again bound for France, and on 8th April , 1918 he was posted into the 9th Battalion Loyal North Lancs.

Two days later, on 10th April 1918 Private Thomas Silcock was reported as being missing in action.

Mrs Silcock inserted the following in the local paper on 8th June, 1918 appealing for any news about her son.


(Note the above article states he returned to the front on April 15th but his service record confirms he was posted missing on 10th April).

Almost twelve months later a formal typewritten statement dated 12th March, 1919 was made by Private W. Silcock in which he confirms he was a cousin of Thomas Silcock. This statement was then sent to the War Office in London.



The information supplied by Thomas`s cousin was then forwarded on to the No.2 Infantry Record Office in Preston, Lancashire who later confirmed that the unofficial report of the death of Private Thomas Silcock had been accepted for official purposes.

Two and a half years later on 20th September, 1921 the Loyal North Lancashire Regiment received a letter from Thomas`s mother Elizabeth Silcock.


201414 Private Thomas Silcock is remembered with honour on the Ploegsteert Memorial.

Rank: Private
Service No: 201414
Date of Death: 10/04/1918
Regiment/Service: The Loyal North Lancashire Regiment, 9th Bn.


Paul McCormick
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One Response to 201414 PTE. T. SILCOCK. L.N.LAN.R

  1. Private Thomas Silcock was my great great grandmother’s nephew so I presume that makes us distant cousins. My great grandfather Robert Parker also served in this regiment but he was one of the lucky ones who returned.

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