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Thomas Kimpston’s birth was registered in Salford during the final quarter of 1891. He was the eldest of three brothers born to Joseph and Eleanor Kimpston (nee Burke), his siblings Allen (b. c1894) and Stanley (b. c1899). The couple had married in Salford in 1891 and had three other children who hadn’t survived childhood.

On the evening of the 1901 census the family were living at 26 Owen Street in Salford and Joseph, who was born in Belfast, was working as a joiners labourer. Ten years later, by the time of the 1911 census, they had moved to 37 Adelphi Street and Joseph was a grocer with Eleanor assisting him in the business. Thomas (18) was employed operating a crane, Allen (16) was a boiler maker and Stanley (12) was still in school.

It is not known when Thomas enlisted in the Army as no records have survived, but he initially joined the Lancashire Fusiliers with the number 28645 and it was with the 15th Battalion of this Regiment he arrived in France sometime after January 1916. By October that year he had been transferred to the 9th Loyal North Lancashire Regiment and was given the number 30015. At some point his family had relocated to the seaside town of Blackpool and were living at 25 Bairstow Street, Walley House.

A turn in the trenches near Aveluy on the Somme between 7th and 22nd October 1916 was a particularly heavy one for the 9th LNL where in total they had 4 officers killed and 10 wounded; 48 other ranks killed, 184 wounded and 18 missing. Casualties during the earlier part were in the main due to shell fire; with 2 officers killed and 3 wounded; 20 other ranks killed, 57 wounded and 17 missing sustained during operations on the 21st.

21st October 1916 – Hessian Trench

At 12 – 6pm the artillery barrage opened. The Battalion got out of Hessian Trench in three lines and crossed ‘no-mans land’ immediately behind the barrage, very few casualties occurring until we reached the enemy’s wire, when a considerable amount of trouble was caused from an enemy machine gun and snipers.

This machine gun was outside a dugout in the sunken road and was put out of action by 2nd Lieutenant Gwynne Mervyn Jones and three bombers, the machine gun being captured. Many prisoners were taken chiefly from the sunken road dugouts, not many of the enemy being in the front line. About 200 prisoners were taken, including one officer who said that he was a Battalion Commander.

As soon as they had taken the trench the men did remarkably good work consolidating, and an out post line was immediately organised and put out by 2nd Lieutenant Gwynne Mervyn Jones.

Private Thomas Kimpston was one of the men wounded and would have been taken to a casualty clearing station where he died on 30th October. He was 24 years old and was buried in the Etaples Military Cemetery where his father later requested the CWGC engrave the following on his headstone;

A loving son, a brother kind, a lasting memory left behind.

Thomas’ younger brother, Allen Kimpston, was killed four months before Thomas on 2nd June 1916. He had been working as a ship rivetter in Canada when war broke out and enlisted in Torronto where he joined the 4th Canadian Motor Rifles with the number 109433. Allen was killed at the Battle of Mount Sorrel and is remembered on the Ypres (Menin Gate) Memorial and both brothers are remembered on the War Memorial at Salford Weaste Cemetery.

Thomas’ family would later receive the British War Medal and Allied Victory Medal along with a memorial plaque (shown below) and scroll bearing his name and in recognition of his sacrifice. At Joseph’s request, Eleanor received the small war gratuity.

thomas kimpston

His memorial plaque sold at Tennants Auctioneers, 6 May 2016 and then on eBay 0n 19 May 2016

Rank: Private
Service No: 30015
Date of Death: 30/10/1916
Age: 24
Regiment/Service: The Loyal North Lancashire Regiment, 9th Bn.

Paul McCormick
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2 Responses to 30015 PTE. T. KIMPSTON. L.N.LAN.R.

  1. Paul, could i pleae use your article (and photo) about Thomas Kimpston who is rememberred on the family headstone at Weaste cemetery.
    We are doing a quarterly leaflet about the men recalled on the headstones of Salford’s 4 cemeteries.
    Gerald Tidswell
    Friends of Salford Cemeteries Trust

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