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The Great War (1914-1918) Forum

Tom Drury, South Staffordshire Regiment, died 6 July 1918


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We don’t know for sure how many people died as a result of the First World War but it is estimated that there were around 18 million war related deaths between 1914 and 1918. Nearly one million of these were British soldiers. One hundred years ago today my great grandfather, Tom Drury, became part of this statistic. Like many, he lied about his age in order to join the army in 1914. Only in his case he said that he was ten years younger than he actually was, enlisting at the age of 45. As a member of the South Staffordshire Regiment he survived almost the entire length of the war, only to be killed in Northern France, in its closing stages. His death was not particularly heroic. At nearly fifty years of age he was too old to serve in the front line trenches so he had been sent behind the lines to be an officers cook. However this was no place of safety. He was injured by a shell which exploded on the officers mess on the 5 July 1918. It wasn't a quick death. He was evacuated to a Canadian Casualty Clearing station at Pernes where he eventually died of his wounds on 6 July. Pernes became his final resting place. Tom represents the unextraordinary British bloke who enlisted out of a sense of patriotism and paid the ultimate price. As a resident of Loughborough it was was good to see the Loughborough Echo remember Tom in an article this week - 


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