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Remembered Today:

Seearching Pte. Thomas Green, Cheshire Regiment.


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Greetings all. My first post, and it's a big ask!

I am researching the life and death of my great uncle, Pte. Thomas Green, D Company of the 1st/7th Battalion, Cheshire Regiment, 1821.He was killed in action on 11/7/1915, and is buried at Spoilbank Cemetery, Zillebeke.

I recently went to visit his grave - a very moving experience; standing there in the rain, among the white stones, one has a sense of peace, and yet of sorrow. I know his mother never visited his grave, and as far as I am aware, I am the first of my family to do so, so there was a sense of duty and responsibility also. He is not forgotten, especially on this, of all days, and because of that I want to get to know him a little better.

Now, I have all the easily accessible details, such as the medal card, and I even have his medals, 'death penny' and a photograph of him in uniform.

I was hoping someone might be able to shed a little light on him and the circumstances of his death. I assume he was killed nearby as his burial is among the earlier interments in that cemetery. Specifically, I would like to know what the Cheshire Regiment were doing there, where they were exactly, how he died, and what happened immediately before and after.

If anyone could point me to the location of some sources I would be eternally grateful - trench maps, histories, regimental diaries, personal diaries, or photographs - all would be useful in trying to understand what happened. I realise that there are many limits to what can be known, but this is all new to me, despite having a background in history and being a professional archaeologist with an growing interest in battlefield archaeology.

Any help at all would be great.

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I looked up the War Diary of 1/7 Cheshire and it gave them in Gallipoli. LLT also says "Sailed in July 1915 from Devonport, going via Alexandria to Gallipoli where it landed on 9 August 1915."

I checked CWGC and he was actually attached to 1/5 Cheshires when he was killed

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Bear in mind that you will want to be looking for information on the 5th Battalion, not the 7th. As you'll have noted from the CWGC information, he was serving with the 5th at the time of death (the 7th battalion was then at Gallipoli).

The battalion war diary is at the National Archives (file reference WO95/1565) and will have the definitive account of what happened the day he was killed. It is most unlikely that he will be mentioned by name, nor is it very likely that the actual circumstances of his death will be recorded.

There is a modern reprint of the battalion history which may also be of interest - although the battalion hadnt been up to much that was "exciting" sinc eit had arrived in France in the February (?) - http://www.amazon.co.uk/CHESTERS-BATTALION-CHESHIRE-REGIMENT-1914-JUNE/dp/1847349714

For general information about researching a soldier, this link should prove invaluable - http://www.1914-1918.net/soldiers/research.html

I assume he is the T Green commemorated on three war memorials in Macclesfield (the main town one and the ones at the town hall and St Michael's church)

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In 1915 1/5 Cheshires were with 14 Brigade of 5 Division.

War Diary at the National Archives but is not yet downloadable,is under WO95/1565 and covers from Feb to Dec 1915.

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Thanks for the responses - very quick

Yes, my mistake, that should have read 1/5th. My apologies Corisande.

Dear Lord, the interplay of battalion, regiment, and division is headache-inducingly complicated!

The battalion diary is certainly worth checking - I'll get on it asap, but as you say it is unlikely that it will contain any 'personal' information.

John Hartley, he is indeed the T Green on the Macclesfield war memorials - I always visit the main memorial when in Macclesfield as there is another family member inscribed on it, and with which, given your association with Stockport, you may be able to help (born in Macclesfield, living in Stockport in 1911, volunteers with the Cheshire Yeomanry, dies in Morpeth, Northumberland in 1917 - bit of a mystery! I'll save that for another thread!)

And thanks Sotonmate, that makes things a little more clear - shame it's not downloadable yet.

Here is a photograph of Pte. Thomas Green, taken, one assumes, just prior to being sent out to Belgium. Amazing how young he looks!


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  • 11 months later...

There appears to be a transcription error on his CWGC entry - Service No shown as 7821 not 1821

GREEN, THOMAS. Rank: Private. Service No: 7821. Date of Death: 11/07/1915. Age: 19.
Regiment/Service: Cheshire Regiment "D" Coy. 1st/7th Bn. attd. 1st/5th Bn.
Grave Reference: I. H. 12. Cemetery: SPOILBANK CEMETERY.
Additional Information: Son of Michael Thomas and Margaret Green, of 136, Chester Rd. Macclesfield, England.
His Medal Index Card clearly shows the 1821 and that he first entered France on 14 February 1915, thus qualifying for the 1915 Star as well as the British War and Victory medals.
Soldiers Died has his correct number:-
Name: Thomas Green. Birth Place: St. Michael's, Macclesfield, Cheshire. Death Date: 11 Jul 1915.
Enlistment Place: Macclesfield. Rank: Private. Regiment: Cheshire Regiment. Battalion: 1st/5th Battalion.
Regimental Number: 1821. Type of Casualty: Killed in action.
Sadly he seems to be the only casualty that day, so perhaps there may be a remark in the War Diary to give further details.
1911 Census:
Name: Thomas Green. Age in 1911: 14. Birth Year: abt 1897. Birth Place: Macclesfield.
Street address: 44 Copper St Macclesfield. Occupation: Errand boy for restaurant
Michael Thos Green, 42, bricklayers labourer; Margaret Green, 39, charwoman, married 21 years, 8 children, 7 still alive in 1911.
John Green, 17, silk spinner; Thomas Green, 14 errand boy - restaurant; Kathleen Green, 12, silk winder; Margaret Green, 9; Henry Green, 6; Else Green, 3.
All children born in Macclesfield. No sign that John died in WW1 (no CWGC entry with parents or address as Thomas). A Mary E Green shows on 1891 (when 2 months old) and 1901 Census returns, perhaps she is married or working away from home. The child that died seems to have been between Census years and not recorded on census.
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  • 6 months later...

Many thanks for the replies.

I have not had the time to read the regimental diaries, so can offer no further information... yet.

I will find the time soon!

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Now digital !


for £3.30,or if you are really patient you can find it for free on Ancestry UK. I will try again to get the hang of this newly released War Diary archive sometime ! Maybe it's because I was looking for 1/5 Battalion,but my link to 5th Bn is the one you need !

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Now digital !


for £3.30,or if you are really patient you can find it for free on Ancestry UK. I will try again to get the hang of this newly released War Diary archive sometime ! Maybe it's because I was looking for 1/5 Battalion,but my link to 5th Bn is the one you need !

You are a superstar!

Bought and paid for, delivered into my hard drive within seconds.

It really is an amazing service, highly recommended - scanned PDFs, in no time at all... I wonder how many other diaries are available?

Many thanks Sotonmate.

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The details are, as expected, minimal.

The diary entry records the following:

Place: Ypres

Date: 11/7/15

Hour: Blank

Summary of Events: 1 man killed and 2 men wounded whilst on working party near Ypres.

That's it.

No heroics, just 1 man killed. Poignant somehow.

Reading further around the entry - a working party was very dangerous - there are many around him being wounded.

Am I right in thinking that this would have been along the lines of digging new trenches, reinforcing others, etc.

They had been relieved from trenches 27, 27S and 27R and 28, 28S and 28R by the 1st Devon Rgt. on the 8 July and "proceded to bivouac in H28A". Apparently, 1 man was wounded by a stray bullet during this movement.

I'm assuming they would have moved back to the support trenches during this time away from the front line, but could anyone enlighten me as to the meaning of the trench numbers? I have some trench maps of the area, but none seem to show the relevant numbers.

Also, I now have the diary, so if anyone wants a look up and/or a copy of the relevant page, let me know.

Thanks again Sotonmate, you have helped me connect to an important part of my history.

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If you are thinking that they RESTED once withdrawn from the frontline trenches,as indeed I might also have hoped,then not much chance. They did all sorts of working parties,quite often carrying stores of various sorts to the front or just in the rear of the front,helping with digging and construction etc.

You should be able to track square H28 (1000 yds x 1000 yds) on a trench map, A will be the top left square ( 500 yards x 500 yards) of the quarters that H28 is split into. The numbered trenches may need a bit more defined map,I don't know if you've seen the Appendices to the Diaries,there are usually some at the end of each month,worth a look just in case these trenches are sketched or shown on a map fragment.

Your subject may well have been a sniper or shrapnel target.

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