Thomas Gale

Date of birth: 20th April 1887
Place of birth: Shirley, Southampton
Regiment: Worcestershire
Battalion: 2nd
Rank / Service No: Private, 44236
Died: 15th October 1918, aged 31 years
Buried: Bois Guillaume Communal Cemetery Extension, France (F.10B)

 

Thomas was the second of 5 known siblings born to Thomas Abraham and Kate Gale (nee Witt-Gosling), who married in Southampton in 1886.

The couple had a total of 8 children, of which 5 died in infancy.

 

Thomas was born in Salisbury in 1855 and died in Southampton in 1919.

Kate was born in Southampton in 1866 and passed away in the city in 1909.

 

Siblings

Mabel   b. 1885 Shirley   d. 1961 Basingstoke

Thomas

Walter   b. 1889 Shirley d. pre 1901

Alma   b. 5 December 1894   d. 1973 Southampton   Married Charles H. Franks in Southampton in 1919. She paid for her brother’s headstone.

Walter   b. 1900   d. ??

 

Thomas was a milkman when war broke out. It is not known why he enlisted in the Worcestershire regiment, or when exactly, but the 2nd Battalion (part of 2nd Division) landed at Boulogne on 14 August 1914.

 

They took part in the Battle of Mons (1914), the Battle of Givenchy (March 1915) and the Battle of Festubert (May 1915).

 

The battalion was based near Bethune in early 1916. During that year, the battalion was transferred to the 33rd Division and took part in the Battle of Bazentin Ridge that summer.

At the end of August, the battalion took part in the Battle of Delville Wood and in the Battle of Le Transloy during the winter of 1916.

 

The 2nd’s were on the Somme in early 1917, taking part in the Arras offensive from mid April until mid May.

 

The Battalion spent the winter of 1917 billeted around Passchendaele and were still close to Ypres in early 1918.

The first two months of 1918 were spent fighting around Passchendaele, in terrible winter weather.

 

They finally left that front in April 1918 billeting near Bailleul, much further south. The battalion took part in the battle near that town in late spring of 1918.

The battalion were then transferred back to Ypres in June 1918, and took part in actions east of Epehy in September 1918.

 

Thomas was probably mortally wounded in hard-fought actions around the St Quentin Canal in mid October 1918.

 

His headstone reads: “What more can man do than die that others may live.”

 

 

Researcher: Mark Heritage
Published: 27th July 2016
Updated:

 

If you have any additional comments on the person named above, please complete the comments section below.