My Thomas family in WW1

THOMAS, David John
Private 12757
8th Battalion., Royal Fusiliers.


Born - Penmark, Tredegar on 29th May, 1888
Enlisted - Ealing, London
Residence - Hanwell, London

Died - 7th July 1916 - killed in action aged 28yrs

Remembered on Thiepval Memorial, France
Pier and Face 8C, 9A and 16A

tn_DJ Thomas

David John Thomas was the first member of our family that we found out about who had been killed in the First World War. We then began finding out details from family members, where we could.

We found out that David had been killed in a secondary trench at the South West of Ovillers-La Boisselle during the attacks to capture Ovillers. His commanding officer had written to the family to inform them that he had been killed outright by a shrapnel shell exploding above him.We also found out that he left a wife and two children who are photographed here. We believe his wife was called Lilian, and many years later, we found that the children were called Mabel and Margaret. They lived in, or near Hanwell, London. We know nothing more about them.

He was one of eight children born to David Thomas and Ann Williams. His brothers and sisters were:
Margaret Anne, William, Emily Jane, Richard Rees, Elizabeth Rebecca (who died in infancy), Gladys Hannah and Richard (also died in infancy).

tn_DJThomas wife and children

Before The War began, David was a carpenter in the New Tredegar area of the South Wales Valleys. We had been intrigued as to why he signed up at Ealing, London.
It appears that David had argued with his father, also called David, whose household-head attitude was 'My way - or the High-way', and it seems David John left the home and went to London to live.
David wrote a letter dated 12th June 1916, to his sister Margaret. From the letter it is clear that the argument with his father was still an issue. This was the last letter he ever wrote, just a few weeks before the slaughter that took place on The Somme battlefields in July 1916.His brother, William Thomas, served in Gallipoli during the First World War. He fought with the South Wales Borderers and survived the War.

tn_DJ Thomas group

Visitors

 

Left - A photograph of David John Thomas with friends. David is on the right of the front row.

 

Right - The letter David wrote home less than a month before he was killed.

tn_DJ Thomas letter1

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