People   (Re-unions, trace old friends and relatives.)

Started 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.
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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.
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Replied: 30th Jan 2021 at 20:45

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