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cookson2Thomas Cookson was the husband of Mary Elizabeth Cookson of 6, Dyer Street, Kirkham.

Thomas enlisted into the Territorial Force under the Derby Scheme on 8th December 1915. He then continued his work as a weaver until being mobilised on 9th August 1916. He was already 37 years old and joined the 4th Battalion with the number 5561 (this changed in 1917 when the TF were renumbered to 202541).

Private Cookson was initially sent to Ireland, and was still at Dublin in July 1918 when he was granted his Proficiency Pay Class 1.

Memories of the family: My mother-in-law’s cousin remembers Elizabeth (Pte Cookson’s widow), saying that he was posted to Ireland, she hadn’t been receiving his wage and when she queried it they upped and moved him to France.  She lived out her days regretting her decision to ever mention the wages and, I assume, blaming herself partly for his death.

On 4th September 1918 he embarked at Folkstone, and landed in Boulogne later that day. Twelve days later he met up with the 1/4th Battalion in the field, joining their ‘A Company’.

Three weeks later, on 24th October, Thomas was listed as being wounded in action. His wounds are probably attributable to a counter-attack on the 23rd that lasted until midnight.

At 2 a.m. on the 23rd, we drove off an enemy counter-attack, but at 4 30 a.m. a strong counter-attack delivered from the flank with the strength of about two Companies forced our posts to withdraw from the wood. There as a thick fog at the time of the attack, and, communications having broken down, no assistance was forthcoming from our artillery. The Officer Commanding B Company, however, immediately organised Company Headquarters and a Platoon of A Company and delivered a quick counter-attack, which, whilst it was not successful in regaining the wood, effectually managed to establish us some little distance our side of the wood. We were relieved by the 2 3th Lancashire Fusiliers about midnight. Second Lieutenants Chambers and Blount and 33 Other Ranks were missing, one Other Rank killed, and 25 Other Ranks wounded.

Unfortunately Thomas succumbed to his ‘multiple wounds’ three days later, 27th October 1918, at the 13th General Hospital in Boulogne. He was buried in Terlincthun British Cemetery at Wimille.

The following article and photo were published in a local newspaper reporting his death;


Elizabeth received her late husband’s personal effects in February 1919, which comprised:

  • 1 x Identity disc
  • Photographs
  • Cigarette case
  • Religious book
  • Broken mirror
  • Packet of cigarettes
  • National registration card
  • Pocket (next word undecipherable)
  • 2 x Postcards
  • Registered envelope
  • Regimental pocket book
  • 1 x Purse
  • 2 x Belgian coins
  • Army Forms

She also received a widow’s pension of 33/9 a week for herself and their four children.


Elizabeth visiting her husbands final resting place


CWGC grave of 202541 Pte Thomas Cookson

Rank: Private
Service No: 202541
Date of Death: 27/10/1918
Age: 40
Regiment/Service: The Loyal North Lancashire Regiment, 1st/4th Bn.

Paul McCormick
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