MORRIS, TOM 26883 Guardsman 2nd Battalion 1st Guards Brigade Guards Division THE GRENADIER GUARDS

Born Leyland  Enlisted Chorley  Living Leyland

Killed in Action  France / Flanders  27th August 1918

Ref: ‘Soldiers Died in the Great War, 1914-1919’, Part 5.

Chorley Guardian and Leyland Hundred Advertiser Sat. 21st September 1918

Mr George Morris, Hill Cottage, Golden Hill Lane, Leyland has received information of the death in action on August 27th, 1918 of his son Pte Tom Morris, Grenadier Guards. He was 20 years of age and joined up in October 1916 and previously worked at the Bleachworks. He attended Leyland St. Ambrose and was in the choir there.

In a letter to his parents Lt. Bevan says: “Throughout the battle he had shown the greatest bravery and contempt for danger, inspiring all who were with him with his coolness under terrible fire. It was while sniping a hostile machine-gun that he met his death. Please accept my sincere sympathy at your loss which is shared by all ranks in the Battalion and Company, amongst whom he was beloved as a friend and respected as a man. He died a Britisher and a Grenadier.” (his photo is in this issue of the Guardian).

Preston Guardian Sat. 21st September 1918

Virtually the same report as in the Chorley Guardian above, but with the following additional information:- Tom Morris enlisted October 4th, 1916 and was an apprentice at Messrs John Stanning & Sons, Leyland Bleach and Dye Works.

The officer’s letter was written by Lt. R. C. M. Bevan, and prefaced what was given in the Chorley Guardian account by... ‘It is with very deep regret that I write to inform you of your son’s death. He was killed on August 27th when the Battalion attacked the German positions.’ The letter ended‘He died a Britisher and a Grenadier, and I know you will all be proud in the manner in which he met his death.’

Leyland St. Andrew’s Parish Magazine October 1918

We are grieved to add three more names to our Roll of Honour; Clement Wareing, Robert Gray and... ‘Tom Morris, Grenadier Guards, who was killed in action after showing conspicuous bravery on August 27th, 1918. Although he had been living in the parish in recent years, he was attached to his old parish of St. Ambrose and sang in the choir there for four years.’

Tom Morris’s name appears on the following local memorials:-

War Memorial, Church Road, Leyland

St. Ambrose Memorial, Moss Lane, Leyland

Mural Plaque in St. Ambrose, Leyland

Commonwealth War Graves Commission

Tom Morris is buried in the:-

MORY ABBEY MILITARY CEMETERY, PAS DE CALAIS, FRANCE

Grave Ref: Plot IV Row D Grave 21. Aged 19, the son of George and Margaret Morris of Hill Cottage, Golden Hill Lane, Leyland.

Mory is a village in the Department of the Pas de Calais between Arras and Bapaume, and about 2 km east of the village of Irvillers. Mory Abbey Military Cemetery is 458 metres north of the village on the side of the road to Ecoust-St. Main opposite a large farm called “L’Abbeye”.

St. Ambrose Baptismal Register

19 Jan 1898 – Baptised: Tom son of George and Maggie Morris of Leyland. Born Dec. 21st, 1897

Note 1:- At the time of Tom Morris’s death, the Guards Division was fighting in what became known as the ‘Second Battles of the Somme’, 21st August-3rd September, 1918. He was killed in action between the ‘Battle of Albert’ (21st-23rd Aug.) and the ‘Second Battle of Bapaume’ (31st Aug.-3rd Sept.).

Note 2:- Hill Cottage is now No. 134 Golden Hill Lane.

Morris, Tom. WE Waring 2003