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Lt T.E. Holberton 20th Hants Bde R.H.A

The Major

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I am researching Lt Thomas Edmund Holberton for a friend who's uncle he was. Holberton was awarded the MC in Egypt and his citation is in the London Gazette on 4 Oct 1919.

If anyone knows anything about his background, education, military service or other details I would be very grateful as I can't find much else about him. I am told he definitely survived WWI as my friend remembers visiting him in his home in Sussex.

Thank you, Bob.

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Don't know whether you have other details available in the London Gazette:

LG 4-5-1915


West Riding.

Private Thomas Edmund Holberton, from Strathcona's Horse, to be Second Lieutenant. Dated 21st April, 1915.

LG 8-3-1919

MC Bar:

Lt. Thomas Edmund Holberton, M.C., 20th. (Hants.) Bde., R.H.A. (EGYPT), (M.C. gazetted 25th November, 1916)

LG 5-5-1919:

Lt. T. E. Holberton, West Riding R.H.A., to be actg. Capt. whilst comdg. a

Bty., R.H.A. (T.F.). 22nd.Nov. 1918.

LG 11-7-1917:



2nd Lt. (temp. Lt.) T. E. Holberton, M.C., with- precedence as from 1st June 1916. 5th Aug. 1916.

Don't know if you have both MC citations so:

MC (LG 25-11-1916) :

2nd Lt. (temp. Lt.) Thomas Edmund Holberton, R.H.A.

For conspicuous gallantry in action. He directed fire and repaired telephone lines, under heavy fire, although twice thrown down by high explosive shells.

MC Bar (LG 4-10-1919) :

Lt. Thomas Edmund Holberton, M.C., 20th (Hants.) Bde,, R.H.A. (EGYPT)

For gallant services on the 23rd September, 1918, at Makhadet El Naj. The battery, 'being in action in the open, came under very heavy fire from a concealed enemy battery; he was ordered temporarily to retire the gunners from the position, which he did with coolness in good order. It became necessary, however, to re-open fire, and he immediately led the men back to the guns and the battery re-opened fire at once, thus enabling a cavalry regiment to obtain their objective and occupy the ford. He did good work.

(M.C. gazetted 25th November, 1916.)

Hope this helps,


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Birth registered as Thomas Edmund Holberton in March Quarter 1883, Kingston-upon-Thames.

Per 1901 Census

Kingsland, Shrewsbury, (next door to "The Schools, Kingsland")

Emily Gertrude Holberton, abt 1847, St James, London, Head, Widow.

Dorothea Holberton, abt 1876, Teddington, Middlesex, Daughter

Philip Holberton, abt 1880, Twickenham, Middlesex, Son , 2nd/Lt. 2nd Manchester Regiment.

Janet Holberton, abt 1882, Teddington, Middlesex, Daughter

Thos Edmund Holberton abt 1883, Teddington, Middlesex, Son

Fanny Hughes Holberton, abt 1885, Teddington, Middlesex, Daughter

Plus 2 servants and a visitor.

In 1891, Emily and the four eldest children, Dorothy, Mary, Philip and Thomas were lodging at Minton Villa, Shrewsbury with John Lewis, farmer, his wife and daughter, both called Mary.

In 1881, Edward R Holberton, East India Merchant, born Hampton 1843, is head of household at Church House, High Street, Teddington along with Emily, Dorothea, Philip, Mary + 2 other sons Richard (b 1877) and Robert (b 1874). Also 3 servants and a nurse.

Philip Holberton is presumably this officer?

Medal card of Holberton, Philip Vaughan

Corps Regiment No Rank

Manchester Regiment Captain

Manchester Regiment Lieutenant Colonel


Philip was born in Sep quarter 1879 and married in June qtr 1908 in Westminster. 2 website show his rank as Lt-Col at the time of the wedding of his daughter after the war.

Hope this helps,


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The Major wrote:

am researching Lt Thomas Edmund Holberton for a friend who's uncle he was. Holberton was awarded the MC in Egypt and his citation is in the London Gazette on 4 Oct 1919.

Captain Thomas Edward Holbertson, MC*, RHA

Born in 1882

Educated at Shrewsbury School from Easter 1897 to 1901 and at Pembroke College, Cambridge where he received a BA in 1904

Assistant Master at Holmwood, Formby from 1904-1908

Assistant Master at Emstree from 1908 to 1911

Enlisted as a Trooper in the Inns of Court OTC Squadron (Regt. No. 394) on 31 Mar 09

Discharged on 3 Apr 11

Emigrated to Canada in 1911

Served as Assistant Master at St. Wilfred's School at Seaford from 1911 to 1914

Trooper, Strathcona's Horse from 1914-1915

2nd Lieut, West Riding Brigade, RHA TF 20 Apr 1915

Lieutenant in 1916

Acting Captain in 1918

Served with the 1/1st Hants, RHA in the Egyptian Expedition Force in Palestine and Syria from 1915-1918

At Romani on 4 August 1916 2nd Lieut. Holbertson replaced Lt Howkins (who had been killed by shellfire at the observation post) as Forward Observation Officer. At 10:45 "Lieutenant Holbertson and and the signallers withdrew from Observation Post 6, after six time renewing communications with the Battery under heavy fire." (This may be the action for which he received the MC.)

At Tell es Sarem on 23 Sept 18 "The Battery was bought into action as soon as possible and came into action directly, opening fire upon an enemy battery in a semi-covered position on the east bank at a range of 5,500 yards. Contact was arranged with the O.C. 29th Lancers. Almost as soon as the Battery opened fire, the Turks brought a heavy gun to bear upon it with great accuracy, and being in full view, and there being no possible cover to be obtained within effective range of the enemy, it was deemed advisable to retire the detachments from the guns. This was done under Lieut. T. E. Holbertson with great calmness." (Appears to be the action for which he received his Bar to the MC.)

Sources: Shrewsbury School Register, Vol. 1, 1798-1908; Shrewsbury School Roll of Service 1914-1918; Pembroke College, Cambridge War List 1914-1918; The War List of the University of Cambridge 1914-1918; The Inns of Court O. T. C. during the Great War; History of the 1/1st Hants Royal Horse Artillery during the Great War, 1914-1919.

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Thanks for all the information everyone this forum really is amazing for all the information it provides. I will pass on all this to my friend Mike and am sure he will be very pleased. Thanks Bob.

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