ALLPORT Thomas Coote

Thomas Coote ALLPORT

Captain, 5th Battalion, York and Lancaster Regiment.

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Thomas was born on the 23rd of May 1882 at Nottingham.
His parents were Howard Alston Allport, a civil engineer and Sarah Coote Allport.

By 1891 the family were living at Dodworth, Barnsley their address being shown as ‘The Grove’ – this was not to change over the next twenty years.
At that time father Howard was described ass being a ‘Colliery Proprietor and Civil Engineer’.
The family consisted of Howard, mother Sarah, James Howard Allport aged 14, Tom aged 8, Ann Helen 6 and Charles John who was 4. There was another sister, Sarah who in 1891, was a boarder at Cheltenham College.

Thomas’ mother, Sarah, died in 1897.

In 1901 the family had thinned out a little and, at the time of the census, consisted of father Howard, James, Sarah and Tom.

Thomas was educated for 4 years at Winchester College before entering New College, Oxford as a ‘commoner’ where he studied Modern History taking a 4th class Honours Degree in 1903. He then entered the service of the Midland Railway and eventually became an Assistant Superintendent of the Welsh District but gave up this position to join his father in the management of Wharncliffe Woodmoor Colliery.

He joined the 5th Battalion of the York and Lancaster Regiment in1908.

By 1911, Howard was described as being a Civil Engineer, Chairman and Managing Director for the Wharncliffe Woodmoor Colliery. Tom, now aged 28 is shown as BA Oxford (New College) Director of the Wharncliffe Woodmoor Colliery and Assistant to the Managing Director.

Immediately upon the outbreak of the First World War, Thomas volunteered for overseas service and went to France in April 1915.

On the 1st of August 1915 he was killed in action.

The Battalion history records that – On the night of 31st July a small party of the enemy approached the Battalion front with the evident intention of bombing it but one of the bombs carried accidentally exploded, wounding one of the enemy party who was heard calling for help. Early on the morning of 1st August, Captain Allport endeavoured to get the injured man into our trenches and while looking over the parapet to try and locate him, Captain Allport was shot and killed by one of the enemy’s snipers.

A lengthy account appears in the Barnsley Independent of the 7th August – in it is quoted a letter from one of his colleagues, Captain Rideall in which he reports that three German bomb-throwers made an attack during the night. Two of the throwers were killed and the other wounded near the British trenches. It was about two or three o clock in the morning and, hearing cries in British from the wounded German and noticing the man’s head, Captain Allport was making an endeavor to render assistance and bring the wounded man to safety when he was shot by a sniper, through the head, death being instantaneous.

A further obituary appeared in the same newspaper of the 14th August. In it was reported a letter from Corporal W. Fletcher, a Barnsley Territorial who said – No doubt by this time it will have become known in Barnsley about Captain Allport being killed. It would be a terrible shock to them especially as he had only just returned from leave. All our fellows were deeply touched when they heard the news as Captain Allport was a very popular officer.
Corporal Fletcher stated that he had been on duty at the Headquarters telephone when the message came through for the Doctor to go up to the trenches as Captain Allport had been hit. He at once went and delivered the message but on returning to the phone was told the Captain was dead. He had been struck by a bullet to the forehead, fell down and expired in two minutes. – I need hardly tell you what a shock it was to me observed Corporal Fletcher who adds that he saw him a few hours afterwards at a farm a short distance from the trenches and the deceased officer was interred there the next day, all the officer who were not on duty attending – We are all very sorry to lose such a good officer concludes Corporal Fletcher.

Thomas is buried in Talana Farm Cemetery.