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Thomas Duerden was the son of Richard and Susannah Duerden.

In 1901, the family were living at 78 Halifax Road Briercliffe, Burnley.

Richard Duerden, Head, 40, Quarry Man , b.Colne
Susannah Duerden, Wife, 39, b.Great Marsden
Ellen Duerden, 16, Cotton Weaver, b.Briercliffe
William Henry Duerden, 12, b.Briercliffe
Thomas Duerden, 7, b.Briercliffe
Alice Duerden, Daug, 1, b.Briercliffe

Thomas enlisted in the 5th (Territorial) Battalion, East Lancashire Regiment on 28th February 1916 and was given the service number 4698. He was 22 years and 2 months old and had been working as a weaver. At the time of his enlistment the family were living at 72, Burnley Road, Harle Syke, Briercliffe, Burnley.

Thomas was transferred the 1/4th Battalion, Loyal North Lancashire Regiment, being given service number 6176.

On 7th August 1916 Thomas embarked at Folkestone bound for Boulogne, arriving later that day. On the 19th he joined the Battalion in the field

On 15th September 1916 he sustained a gunshot wound to his left hand and was admitted to 36 Casualty Clearing Station, and proceeded to the hospital in Rouen.

On 7th October he rejoined the Battalion in the field.

Thomas was killed on 23rd December 1916. At the time the Battalion were in the trenches on the Ypres Salient, on the line beween Wieltje and Railway Wood.

His father Richard received his personal belongings the following March;

  • 1 x Identity disc
  • 1 x A.S 50.
  • 1 x Diary
  • Cards
  • 3 x Badges
  • 1 x Aluminum ring
  • 1 x Pencil case

 

Rank: Private
Service No: 6176
Date of Death: 23/12/1916
Age: 23
Regiment/Service: The Loyal North Lancashire Regiment, 1st/4th Bn.
Cemetery: VLAMERTINGHE MILITARY CEMETERY, V. B. 6.

The Burnley News. Wednesday, January 10, 1917
HARLE SYKE SOLDIER KILLED.
Mr. R. Duerden, of 72, Burnley road, Harle Syke, has received official intimation that his son, Private Thomas Duerden, aged 23, met his death in the trenches on December 23rd, early in the morning. It was last March that Pte. Duerden joined the East Lancashires, and he had been out in France about six months, where he had been drafted to the Loyal North Lancashires. Writing to inform his parents, his officer said that he was killed instantaneously by a piece of shrapnel, which struck him at the back of his head. His officer speaks well of his conduct generally and of his popularity among the men. Other sources of information reveal the fact that he was just leaving the trenches for his Christmas rest, and had expressed reluctance to leave his companions. Before joining the Army he worked at Lane Bottom, and at the Harle Syke Mill Company’s place as a weaver.

The Burnley News. Saturday, January 13, 1917
HARLE SYKE SOLDIER KILLED WHILE LEAVING TRENCHES FOR CHRISTMAS HOLIDAY.
As we announced on Wednesday, Mr. R. Duerden, of 72, Burnley-road, Harle Syke, has received official intimation that his son, Pte. Thomas Duerden, aged 25, met his death in the trenches on December 23rd, early in the morning. It was last March that Private Duerden joined the East Lancashires, and he had been out in France about six months, where he had been drafted to the Loyal North Lancashires.
Writing to inform his parents his officer said that he was killed instantaneously by a piece of shrapnel, which struck him at the back of his head. His officer speaks well of his conduct generally and of his popularity among the men. Other sources of information reveal the fact that he was just leaving the trenches for his Christmas rest and had expressed reluctance to leave his companions. Before joining the Army he worked at Lane Bottom, and at the Harle Syke Mill Company’s place as a weaver.

Information in this article has been reproduced with kind permission of the Briercliffe Society.

 

 

 

Paul McCormick
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Paul McCormick

Paul McCormick is the creator and administrator for the Loyal North Lancashire Regiment website. Since 2010 he has been researching the soldiers that served during the First World War and sharing their stories on his website. You can contact Paul through the website 'Contact Me' page or on Twitter and Facebook.
Paul McCormick
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