LANCASTER, THOMAS 18608 Private 12th Battalion 61st Brigade 20th Division
THE KING’S (LIVERPOOL REGIMENT)
Born Blackburn Enlisted Southport Living Farington Killed in Action France / Flanders 7th October 1916
Ref: ‘Soldiers Died in the Great War, 1914-1919’, Part 13.
Chorley Guardian and Leyland Hundred Advertiser Sat 18th November 1916
News has been received that Private T. Lancaster (24) of the King’s Liverpool Regiment whose home is at 35 Mill Street, Farington was killed in action on October 7th.
He enlisted at the outbreak of war and had been at the Front about 18 months. Before joining the army he worked for his father as a plumber and decorator (his photo appears in the Chorley Guardian of Nov. 25th, 1916 with details as above. An account also appears in the Preston Guardian of Nov. 18th, 1916.).
Thomas Lancaster’s name appears on the following local memorials:-
St. Ambrose Memorial, Moss Lane, Leyland
Mural Plaque in St. Ambrose, Leyland
Memorial Window, St. Paul, Farington.
Commonwealth War Graves Commission
With no known grave, Thomas Lancaster is commemorated on the:-
THIÈPVAL MEMORIAL, SOMME, FRANCE
Men of the King’s Liverpools are commemorated on Pier 1 Face D and Pier 8 Faces B and C.
“The Battle of the Somme”, Gerald Glidden, 1996
1st - 18th October 1916 ‘Battle of the Transloy Ridges’ Ref: Appendix Fourth Army P. 469.
Account – ‘Le Transloy’, Pp. 269-273 (Map).
The attack on the Transloy Ridges was planned for October 5th, but was postponed until the 7th. because of poor and wet weather.
The 61st Brigade 20th Division was in the line between the 60th Brigade of their own Division on their right, and the 37th Brigade of the 12th (Eastern) Division on their left, some 5-600 yards S/E of Gueudecourt. The assault itself began at 1.45 pm: presumably it was here that Thomas Lancaster lost his life.
Note 1:- ‘Soldiers Died’ has Thomas Lancaster’s date of death as July 10th, 1916. However, both the Chorley Guardian and the Commonwealth War Graves Commission have the date as October 7th which fits in with the movements of the Battalion. On the same day, two other local men of the 12th King’s were also killed in action – Sydney Bretherton and Robert Heywood.
Note 2:- The 12th Battalion of the King’s (Liverpool Regiment) was a ‘Service’ battalion formed at Seaforth, Liverpool in September 1914 in Lord Kitchener’s ‘Second Army’ (K2).
Note 3:- The Thièpval Memorial is some 6 km north of Albert; and the village of Thièpval is 3 km north-west of Pozières on the D73 road.
The memorial commemorates 72,085 men who died in the Somme sector up until March 20th, 1918 – the eve of the German push back across the battlefield – and who have no known grave.
The memorial was designed by the eminent architect Sir Edwin Lutyens (1869-1944).
Lancaster, Thomas. WE Waring 2003