Captain Thomas Newton M.C.-grave of

Started by: flaggy delf (523) 

Found the grave of this brave man in Wigan Cemetery Lower Ince recently. He was killed a few months before the Armistice. Does anyone know how he won the Military Cross?

Started: 12th Jul 2012 at 16:34

Posted by: washy (379)

Was this first ww1 or 2? Have you tried cwwg to see if anything on there?

Replied: 12th Jul 2012 at 23:02

Posted by: maxine (994) 

Will be WW1 washy. I'm sure I've been sent details of war records now available through Ancestry, I'll try to find them!

Replied: 13th Jul 2012 at 06:57

Posted by: STRABISMUS (37)

Captain Tom Newton M.C.

b.1894. Son of Louisa Newton 46, Dicconson St., Wigan and the late Thomas Newton of Hollingworth, Cheshire.
Died of wounds. 05.08.1918 aged 24 years. Lieutenant/ Acting Capt. 1st. Btn. Lancashire Fusiliers.

Buried Longuenesse (St.Omer) Souvenir Cemetery. Pas de Calais. France. Grave Ref. V.D.33.

Military Cross : award notified. 01.01.1917 when Temporary 2nd. Lieut. 12th Btn. Lancashire Fusiliers.

All awards and citations were recorded in the London Gazette but I have so far failed to find it.

I have found the citation for a T/2nd. Lieut. Thomas Newton Woof M.C. attd. S. Staff. R. gazetted 18.07.1917 but this is definitely NOT him. he was born in Lewisham in 1897.
Maybe someone else will have more success searching for the correct citation.

Replied: 13th Jul 2012 at 08:41
Last edited by STRABISMUS: 13th Jul 2012 at 08:42:41

Posted by: flaggy delf (523) 

That helps, now know his regiment but would love to know what he did to win the M.C. Thanks for responses

Replied: 13th Jul 2012 at 11:37

Posted by: maxine (994) 

If he was buried in France, why would he have a grave here too?

Replied: 13th Jul 2012 at 12:42

Posted by: frances (2831) 

Maxine - I think they are more a memorial in the home town rather than a grave, the small white stones for the Military you see in most cemeteries.

Replied: 13th Jul 2012 at 12:52

Posted by: kathpressey (5459) 

a sad end to a young life but good to see he is still remembered and respected

Replied: 13th Jul 2012 at 18:31

Posted by: flaggy delf (523) 

The grave is actually a large family vault on which his details are recorded

Replied: 13th Jul 2012 at 19:08

Posted by: maxine (994) 

Well Frances, I never realised that, it sort of makes it even more sad.

Replied: 13th Jul 2012 at 19:46

Posted by: scoop (3285) 

When i go to France, it is so nice to see the respect that is given to these brave soldiers graves,they are kept neat and tidy and the memorials in every village you pass through are cared for.I wish i could say the same for our own country.

Replied: 13th Jul 2012 at 20:02

Posted by: rayonline5555 (1163)

In my book I have told the story of seven young men from our village who all went to war together in WW1.Only one returned alive but seriously wounded. My efforts to place memorials to them all have been thwarted so far by uncaring people.

Replied: 13th Jul 2012 at 20:28

Posted by: flaggy delf (523) 

I had a great uncle, Hance Cain, from Standish who got killed in 1917 at Paschendaele with the Loyal North Lancs. When I see his name on the Standish memorials I always feel a deep sense of sadness, especially as there was no body found to bury. He left two young daughters and how many children were robbed of a father in that terrible war?

Replied: 13th Jul 2012 at 20:49

Posted by: irene (2901) 

I have seen the war graves in France and Belgium. They are beautifully kept. Some have names and regiments on, and tragically young ages... 17 or 18yrs....and some just say "A Soldier of The Great War...Known Unto God".

Replied: 13th Jul 2012 at 21:09

Posted by: Margaret Rhys (63)

ryaonline5555 - What is your book and how do you get it? What village where these young men from?

Replied: 13th Jul 2012 at 23:09

Posted by: rayonline5555 (1163)

My book is the History of Stubshaw Cross and its not complete yet but will be first published on Kindle and depending on amount of interest in book form.
The first world war is comprehensively covered because my dad,the only survivor, took part in every major campaign and so each of the others have their stories told and they all lived within 300 yards of each other, I shed many tears doing the research!

Replied: 13th Jul 2012 at 23:55

Posted by: flaggy delf (523) 

These men must never be forgotten. Good for you rayonline

Replied: 14th Jul 2012 at 09:55

Posted by: kath arkwright (70)

Are you interested in Tom Newton or just his MC?

Replied: 14th Jul 2012 at 10:59

Posted by: flaggy delf (523) 

Hello Kath, hope you are well.I just stumbled on this large memorial to various members of this man's family and as I read the fact that he had won the Military Cross I wondered what he had done. They don't give M.C.s out like sweets. I have Googled around various sites and although The Lancashire Fusiliers site shows the page of a book with the date of the award, his rank, etc. There is no clue as to how he earned it.

Replied: 14th Jul 2012 at 12:04

Posted by: washy (379)

I have 2 uncles killed in ww1 aged 21 & 19 killed one week apt 7 June 1817 & 14 June 1817 no bodies recovered commemorated in Belgium Ypres. Their elder brother who survived won the Mc & is mentioned in the London Gazette. Have picture of the front cover but don't know how to attach

Replied: 14th Jul 2012 at 13:13

Posted by: flaggy delf (523) 

washy, your uncles were probably in the same campaign as my great uncle. Are they commemorated on the Tyne Cot Memorial?Poor parents losing two sons so close in date

Replied: 14th Jul 2012 at 13:48

Posted by: washy (379)

Hi Sorry no they were from Ashton names also on cenotaph St thomas church Ashton in Makerfield. They were in the Lancashire regiments, Fusiliers & south Lancs.
Both died at the battle of Messines one on the first day one on the last.

Replied: 14th Jul 2012 at 14:08
Last edited by washy: 14th Jul 2012 at 14:10:42

Posted by: flaggy delf (523) 

may they rest in peace

Replied: 14th Jul 2012 at 14:17

Posted by: kath arkwright (70)

Did he get his MC in 1917? There is a web site which has a document but you have to sign up to get it and it will cost you £8.95 for a month.

Replied: 14th Jul 2012 at 16:37

Posted by: flaggy delf (523) 

thanks Kath

Replied: 14th Jul 2012 at 20:09

Posted by: Margaret Rhys (63)

rayonline5555 - your dad must have been seriously injured then? I don't have a kindle so I hope you will have a hard copy. How awful that so many young men in a small area were killed. My dad served in Egypt in WW2 - that was bad but nothing compared to WW1.

Replied: 14th Jul 2012 at 22:35

Posted by: rayonline5555 (1163)

flaggydelf. My father was shot in August 1917 at Passchendale and I can tell you that the conditions were so bad with incessant rain that many hundreds of bodies sank without trace into the mud and were never recovered.My father`s survival was an absolute miracle.

Replied: 14th Jul 2012 at 23:27

Posted by: STRABISMUS (37)

Second week of June 1917 was a bad week for Ashton. My Gt. uncle (R.F.A.) was also killed at Messines Ridge on the 7th.
Also on St.Thomas Cenotaph.

Replied: 15th Jul 2012 at 00:06

Posted by: washy (379)

You never know they may had known each other. Family lived on Warrington rd, first house after the church. My grandmother is buried in the old cemetery, she died in 1916 so a least was spared the pain of losing 2 sons. Their names are on her head stone, but not buried there.

Replied: 15th Jul 2012 at 02:43

Posted by: STRABISMUS (37)

Washy. A bad week for Warrington Rd AinM . My great uncle lived at the last house before the Off Licence. Previously worked at Old Boston. He had recently been mentioned in despatches although I have not yet found the story to go with that. If you have the London Gazette No. and/or date you may be able to find the citation for the Cooper MC at but I have been unable to find the Tom Newton one there.

Replied: 15th Jul 2012 at 08:11

Posted by: flaggy delf (523) 

I have seen photos of the ground at Paschendaele, terrible. We can only guess at what those poor men went through. My great uncle died in the October 1917 and was never found. I have never been in St. Thomas's churchyard but will stop by and pay silent respects at the Cenotaph sometime.

Replied: 15th Jul 2012 at 09:19

Posted by: washy (379)

How nice, so much respect, thankyou on behalf of my uncles.

Replied: 15th Jul 2012 at 11:28

Posted by: Margaret Rhys (63)

When my son joined the Army 10 years ago, they were taken to the see the battlefields and war graves of WWI. It is nice that people still remember and talk about those killed and injured in that dreadful war.

Replied: 15th Jul 2012 at 13:17

Posted by: kath arkwright (70)

Tom Newton's family is very interesting and his origins were not in Wigan. His parents Thomas and Louisa, both teachers, were married in August 1884 at St James Wigan, where Louisa was living with her mother and stepfather Henry Parsons a hairdresser.
Louisa and her family came to live permanently in Wigan after Thomas her husband died in Hadfield.In 1901 they lived at 95 Wrightington Street, before moving to Dicconson Street.
Tom had to have had an 'Education' to become an Officer in WW1 and in 1911 he was a student at Denstone College in Staffordshire. Two of his sisters were teachers in Carlisle and one was a nurse at Salford Infirmary.
His mother was a teacher at St Thomas's and in 1926 was presented with a grandmother clock which is now in the possession of Peter Crate - see St Thomas's School on Album.
She could be one of the teachers on the early photographs. She died 8 July 1928.
According to Thomas Newton's medal card, his mother requested 'a further mention certificate' on 28 September 1924.

Replied: 15th Jul 2012 at 13:28

Posted by: washy (379)

One of my sons joined 3yrs ago he was part of a ceremony they still perform regularly at Menin Gate Ypres Belgium. He was able to see his gt uncles names commemorated on the panels there.

Replied: 15th Jul 2012 at 13:28

Posted by: flaggy delf (523) 

Kath you are amazing, you seem able to unearth virtually anything, you've made a name on a stone very real, thank you.P.S. Is it grey today like here?

Replied: 15th Jul 2012 at 13:41

Posted by: kath arkwright (70)

Perfect weather for looking for looking for dead people! When I was a little girl, my grandma used to take me to Ince Cemetery (Lower Ince Cemetery not Wigan) to look at her plot! There was a bench close by and we would have a sit and a chat about who was in the graves and I loved it in there with those wonderful romantic looking 'little churches'.(I saw them in February and they're anything but romantic looking now - aren't they listed buildings? Listed for demolition!!?) So, I love graves and I like finding out about the people. Which family grave is Tom listed on?
PS My grandma told me that if I didn't visit her when she was in her said plot,she would come back and haunt me!

Replied: 15th Jul 2012 at 14:06

Posted by: flaggy delf (523) 

Kath yes it's awful what has happened to those chapels, it makes me sad to see them. Tom Newton is actually in Wigan Cemetery behind Ince Cemetery. From the war memorial by the main drive just take the path to theback wall of the cemetery and you pass the grave on your right just before the junction with a lateral path.

Replied: 15th Jul 2012 at 14:32

Posted by: irene (2901) 

I have been to the nightly ceremony at the Menin Gate, mentioned in an earlier post. It is very moving and when you stand and listen to The Last Post being played all these years on, you know that those soldiers will never be forgotten.

Replied: 15th Jul 2012 at 15:49

Posted by: vera howarth (2584) 

there are three main memorials to the missing in Belgium-Menin Gate,Tyne Cot and the Bedford Memorial near Plugsteert Wood.The one at P. Wood is very interesting-it has 2 beautiful stone lions-one has a fierce face and is facing German lines and the other looks to be almost smiling and looking towards British lines.This memorial was scheduled to be built in France(PL Wood is very near the French/Belgian border) but France spat its dummy out and said they already had enough memorials so the Belgians accepted it.The last post is also played here once a month.
Alot of the graves in the adjoining cemetry are reburials,they were originally burried in the grounds of the nearby chateau but after the war the Hennessy family returned to the chateau and insisited that the graves be moved from the chateau
Across the road from this memorial is a tiny cemetry -Hyde Park Corner where the grave of a 15 year old boy is buried but uptil the 1980's this gravestone did not show the boys age(he was underaged)-his brother campaigned for his age to be included and evetually it was.The boys father was originally redfused a pension for the boy but was eventually given it due to the intervention of his MP.
Also nearby is the spot where the Christmas truce 1914 wss and is marked by a cross placed by the Khaki Chuns organisation.The graves of some of those whose bodies were recovered on Christmes eve are buried in Rifle Hose cem. within Pl St. wood.

Replied: 16th Jul 2012 at 10:33

Posted by: jackdog (580)

Does your book include anything on the following, who lived in Bryn Road and is listed on the St Luke's memorial?

The Prince of Wales’s Volunteers
(South Lancashire Regiment)
1st/4th Battalion
OWEN, Thomas John
No. 201771
Born: Menai Bridge, Anglesey.
Enlisted at: Newton.
Residence: Ashton in Makerfield
Killed in action, 13/4/18
France and Flanders

I have a little more info and a photo, as well as a memorial scroll and widow's penny (though he wasn't married) if it's of any interest.

Replied: 16th Jul 2012 at 11:01

Posted by: rayonline5555 (1163)

Jackdog, I have concentrated my book on those connected with Stubshaw Cross only and in particular to my Dad`s campaign path. I am well aware that there were others from Stubshie who also took part and others from Ashton.
The penny you refer to was also called the Death Penny and I have seen one belonging to one of my seven lads.

Replied: 16th Jul 2012 at 23:27

Posted by: jackdog (580)


OK, fair enough, well Bryn Road is not Stupshie, it's Gillacre, I know...

I would be keen to read your book though. When is it coming out?

Replied: 17th Jul 2012 at 09:23

Posted by: flaggy delf (523) 

Ray let us all know when it's available, and, since there isn't a bookshop in Wigan with a decent local history section since Smiths bit the dust, how to get it. Last night's repeat of Heartbeat on ITV3 was apt- all the cricket team enlisted for WW1, only one returned.

Replied: 17th Jul 2012 at 11:32

Posted by: heritagelass (116)

For flaggy delf - you may already have this - reference your relative Hance Cain, born 17 Dec. 1881.
his widow was awarded a pension of 25shillings and fivepence
for herself and her children after his death.
His record shows: He enlisted 25 May 1917 for the duration
of the war. Posted to 3rd Batt. 1 June 1917. Embarked from
Folkestone 19 Aug. 1917. Landed Boulogne 20 Aug. 1917 and
posted to 1st Batt. 29 Aug. 1917. Killed 26 Oct.1917.
Awarded British War Medal & Victory Medal.
It says he was employed as a Boiler Fireman at enlistment
and he was aged 35. Height 5feet 3 ins: eyes blue, complexion dark. He had married Elizabeth, his widow, in 1910, religion CofE.
Son of Edward & Elizabeth Cain who lived at 29 Francis Stree, Ince on the 1901 Census.

Replied: 17th Jul 2012 at 12:00

Posted by: flaggy delf (523) 

Heritagelass [great name], thank you. I knew some of this but not about the pension. Are you sure the 1901 census says 29 Francis Street and not 25? Also where does mention of the 1st Battalion come from? M.O.D. info gives him posted to 2/5 th Loyal North Lancashires on the date you give. Also I have his D.O.B as 27th December so would like to clarify where 17th is coming from.

Replied: 17th Jul 2012 at 12:42
Last edited by flaggy delf: 17th Jul 2012 at 12:50:44

Posted by: heritagelass (116)

For flaggy delf: Apologies as I have misread the date
of birth, reading it as 17th instead of 27th.
The information was supplied on a letter from the Ministry
of Defence in 1995 in response to an enquiry for Hance Cain's military service details - sent to a Mr. N. Cain
of Blaby, Leicestershire but for the next-of-kin (who had
to apply) it was a Mr. J. Cain of Northolt, Middlesex.
This was, of course, long before records were put online
and one had to write to the MoD for details.
The service record has suffered burnt damage, as did many, as a result of storage being bombed in WW2 but is readable in parts.

Replied: 17th Jul 2012 at 14:10

Posted by: flaggy delf (523) 

That's me Heritagelass N.Cain. That's why I am confused because their letter says 2/5TH battalion,not 1st. Can you assure me the 1901 census for E and E Cain is 29 not 25 Francis St.I would be very grateful.

Replied: 17th Jul 2012 at 15:04

Posted by: kath arkwright (70)

Edward and Elizabeth Cain are at 25 Francis Street and Hain and Elizabeth at 29.

Replied: 17th Jul 2012 at 15:35

Posted by: flaggy delf (523) 

That makes sense Kath. The Hance at 29 is uncle to the soldier Heritagelass has found details for. Sun out here so maybe with you? Thanks as always.

Replied: 17th Jul 2012 at 15:43

Posted by: heritagelass (116)

Apologies - can't read my own writing! Address explained
Ref. letter - I do have him posted to 2/5th Batt.
on 29 Aug. 1917 from letter not 1st.
Need to get my eyes tested!

Replied: 17th Jul 2012 at 15:46

Posted by: kath arkwright (70)

Hadn't realised I'd put Hain Cain! Do you want me to send you the census page?

Replied: 17th Jul 2012 at 15:54

Posted by: flaggy delf (523) 

Are you like me Heritagelass? I now have to peer over the top of my specs to make out small print. Been wrestling with tiny lettering on a map of 18th century Orrell pits and tramways to Crooke. Where did youth go? Thanks for your input.Neil

Replied: 17th Jul 2012 at 15:56

Posted by: heritagelass (116)

We are not alone sir! Ancestry has him transcribed as
Hauce Cain! Re the Orrell pits/tramways, have you seen
the book "The Orrell Coalfield, Lancashire 1740-1850" by
the late Donald Anderson? An excellent and most interesting study. Glad to help (even if it is with
mis-transcribed information!).

Replied: 17th Jul 2012 at 17:40

Posted by: frances (2831) 

flaggy delf

Do you have the Military records for Hance Cain there are 15 pages (so it says) if you don't have them if you have an emailaddress I can email them to you.

Replied: 17th Jul 2012 at 18:39

Posted by: flaggy delf (523) 

Very kind Frances I only have a brief summary sheet of dates of service etc.

Replied: 17th Jul 2012 at 19:35
Last edited by flaggy delf: 17th Jul 2012 at 20:33:29

Posted by: frances (2831) 

flaggy delf

You should be receiving the documents very shortly

Replied: 17th Jul 2012 at 20:23
Last edited by frances: 17th Jul 2012 at 20:44:37

Posted by: flaggy delf (523) 

Hope my reply reached you Frances but just to be certain am posting my thanks here.

Replied: 17th Jul 2012 at 21:05

Posted by: flaggy delf (523) 

heritagelass, sorry I missed your post about the Orrell Coalfield book.Yes I have that, it's opening up more sites I have to visit.

Replied: 18th Jul 2012 at 13:03

Posted by: kath arkwright (70)

Remember Tom Newton!
Neil, I have been to the grave! There are just two burials listed but there must be lots of ashes in there! Mentioned are Louisa Newton's family who died all over the country, the last one being in 1991 - Susie, dying in Hove in her hundredth year and also two of her three husbands. She didn't marry until she was fifty, then 65 and finally 72, so I think she must have been a very interesting character.

There was another MC there, Louie beloved wife of Captain D.C.Davies MC, but he's not listed apart from that. I think he is Douglas Card Davies but I could be wrong.

There's a photo of Tom Newton with a group of officers on a Lancashire Fusiliers website.

Replied: 11th Aug 2012 at 12:46

Posted by: flaggy delf (523) 

Hello Kath, hope all is well with you. Fancy Hove having a connexion to the Newtons. I want to visit a cemetery there as the man who sounded the Charge of the Light Brigade is buried in the cemetery and George(?) Everest of Mount Everest fame is buried in a churchyard nearby. Life is too short and so much of interest to be experienced. Hope you enjoyed your visit to Wigan. I'm up soon. Can't wait to be with good Lancashire folk again.

Replied: 11th Aug 2012 at 14:44

Posted by: SimonEdinburgh (1)

Regarding Tom Newton
I only recently stumbled across this message thread regarding Tom Newton, having started to do some family tree work. He was my father's father's brother. I think all of the information given so far above is correct... except, I believe he was named "Tom" not "Thomas"... though I have not confirmed via a birth record. I follow this introduction with some more notes about him. Thanks for raising his profile :-) If anyone comes across further details, I'd be happy to receive them. Best wishes - Simon.
= = = = =
Tom died a Captain in the 1st Battalion, Lancashire Fusiliers. His grave is in Longuenesse (St Omer) Souvenir Cemetery (location V.D.33), Departement du Pas-de-Calais, Nord-Pas-de-Calais, France. The war ended only 3 months after he died of wounds.
A War Diary of the days leading up to his death (available from The National Archives; Ref. WO-95-2300-13, Page 36 of the 13th PDF file in the group) shows a (relatively!) quiet start to August:
Aug. 1: Battn marched to HAZEBROUCK and camped at LA KREULE.
Aug. 2: Battn attached to 88th Brigade and moved to STRAZEELE sector with Bn Hqrs in PRADELLES, relieving the 6th Bn Australians.
Aug. 3: Quiet day. 2 Cos [Companies?] found working parties for the R.E. [Royal Engineers?]
Aug. 4: Rejoined 86th Bde in the Support Battaliion position. "C" Co in the Support Line, "A" in the Reserve Line, and "B" & "D" Cos near BORRE in billets & bivouacs. Battn Hqrs at CURFEW HOUSE.
Aug. 5: 2 Cos finding Working Parties. Capt T. NEWTON M.C. killed.
Aug. 6-9: More companies "finding working parties" ...
I found a copy of The Denstonian (November 1918, No. 254, Volume XLII, No. 5, pages 85-106), the college magazine for Denstone College (in Uttoxeter, Staffordshire), and on page 99 there's an Obituary which reads:
"Capt. Tom Newton was here, in Meynell, from September, 1908, until July, 1913, when he left as a prefect. He had an adventurous career in the Army from the first weeks of the war, when he was gazetted to the Lancashire Fusiliers. He served first in France, then in Macedonia (where he took part in the Serbian retreat), and then again in France, always with distinction; for he had always been charming in disposition, capable and cheery. In December he was invalided home from Greece, suffering from malaria and shellshock. He had already had more fighting than has fallen to the lot of many, but he was soon on active service again, and in January, 1917, he was mentioned in despatches and received the Military Cross for gallantry with the Salonika forces; honours particularly acceptable to him as they were won in Greece, where, as a keen classic in Mr. Swift's Form, he had been glad to go. On his first arrival there he spoke of his delight at seeing the land he had learnt to love, but had hardly hoped to visit. In October,1917, he went to France, and won his captaincy at the Battle of Cambrai. His colonel testifies to his worth in the warmest terms, and says he had predicted for him a great future in the Army, and in three weeks' time he was to have received his majority. But he died of wounds received in action on August 5th, aged only 23 years, splendidly cheerful to the end. What Denstone values most of all are the following words:—"I don't think you have an idea of how much he thought of Denstone. All his aims and ideals were to prove himself worthy of the School and bring it honour; and he would have sacrificed his life rather than bring dishonour to that happy place. "We did know it, and we thank God for it."
An entry in the Wigan Observer and District Advertiser of 17 August 1918 also has the story; the only extra details are that he was made 2nd lieutenant in November 1914, went to France in September 1915, went to Macedonia in November 1915 and was involved in the Serbian retreat, was mentioned in General Milnes' despatches, was promoted to 1st Lieutenant in June 1917, and was invested with the Military Cross at Buckingham Palace.
His death is noted in the Yorkshire Post & Leeds Intelligencer 20 August 1918 in the section "Died of Wounds".
The Commonwealth War Graves Commission "Debt of Honour" records record his death, gives the location of his grave at Longuenesse, and give his address and details of his mother and father.
= = = = =

Replied: 30th Jan 2021 at 20:45

Posted by: JAMB (72)

There is a photo of him in the Wigan Observer Jan 1917 , mentioned in dispatches for services in Salonica and received the the M.C . Go to Wigan Archives, under search for soldiers look for Tom Newton. Born Tom Newton in Cheshire 1894 ,mothers name Louisa King

Replied: 31st Jan 2021 at 20:04
Last edited by JAMB: 31st Jan 2021 at 20:25:13

Posted by: ChrisOwen (2) 

Remembering Captain Tom Newton MC

I have his WW1 Memorial Scroll

Replied: 28th Feb 2021 at 11:41
Last edited by ChrisOwen : 28th Feb 2021 at 11:44:51

Posted by: ChrisOwen (2)

Replied: 28th Feb 2021 at 11:55

Posted by: flaggy delf (523) 

Only just come back to this. Thank you so much for the info...most grateful.

Replied: 20th Mar 2021 at 13:18


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