HOWE Thomas William M.M.

37633 Pte Thomas William HOWE M.M. 2/4 York Lancaster Regiment

Killed in Action 2nd September 1918

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 Thomas William HOWE was born in the Attercliffe area of Sheffield in 1891. Son of George Henry and Clara HOWE we first see him in the census record of 1901 living with his family at 61 Sussex Street, Attercliffe, Sheffield. By 1911 the family are living at 151 Aston Street which is in the Park area of Sheffield. At this time Thomas is employed as a silver finisher.

He enlisted at Pontefract agaed 25 on the 20th October 1916 and was placed in the 2/4 Battalion of the York and Lancaster Regiment and given service number 37633. He must have been a pre war territorial as he previously had service number 9360.

He would travel to France as his first and only theatre of operation on the 21st January 1917.

Prior to his departure Thomas would marry Matilda Emma MATTHEWS at St Johns Church, Park, Sheffield. Matilda’s given address being 44 Derwent Street, Wybourn, Sheffield.

StJohns church Park  sheffield

On the 25th August 1918 Thomas is reported wounded but there is no record of the extent. The battalion had been involved in an assault on German positions with A and C companies going to the attack. They were met by heavy machine gun fire suffering extensive casualties. The enemy put down a heavy artillery barrage including gas. Despite this the York Lancs took a lot of prisoners but could not achieve their objective. By 5pm that day they enemy were seen forming up for the counter attack which materialised but was beaten off by artillery and a bayonet charge by the 2/4 KOYLI. It is reported that many of the German prisoners had bayonet wounds.

According to the battalion war diary Thomas was awarded the Military Medal for the fighting on the Marne. The battalion had been involved in that area of operation between the 15th and 30th July 1918. The award would be published in the London Gazette dated 11th December 1918.

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On the 2nd September the battalion again went into the attack at Vaulx Vraucourt with their final objective being high ground at Lagnicourt. After a day of heavy fighting the battalion achieved their objective but suffered 28 dead and 146 wounded or missing. Thomas being one of the dead.

Thomas is buried in the Vaulx Hill Cemetery in France.

vaulxhill cemetery

He is remembered on the St Johns Church Roll of Honour.

st johns park memorial St Johns park memorial panel St Johns memorial

By the time his family received notice of his death his wife Matilda was living at 26 Stradbroke Road, Richmond, Sheffield and his parents were at 302 Cricket Inn Road, Wybourn, Sheffield.