Image from 1917 Suffolk Chronicle & Mercury newspaper
Photographs and newspaper articles courtesy of Shirley Sime.
Born: 1887, Leeds, Yorkshire.
Died: 17th January 1917; age 30; Died of accidental injuries in railway accident in Paris.
Another Ipswich man killed on the same train OSCAR MORTIMER.
Enlistment Location: Colchester, Essex; Date: 9th September 1904; Age: 18 years & 1 month; Occupation: Labourer; Religion: CofE. Height: 5ft 4ins. Tattoo – clasped hands & heart.
Service: Home – 9th September 1904 – 7th November 1905 – Malta – 8th November 1905 – 2nd April 1907 – Home – 3rd April 1907 – 18th February 1908 – Malta – 19th February 1908 – 21st January 1909 – Egypt – 22nd January 1909 – 9th October 1911 – Home – 10th October 1911. B.E.F. Embarked – Marseille 17th November 1915 – Disembarked Salonica 25th November 1915.
Offence: Malta – 12th May 1906 – Acting Corporal –
Having a dirty rifle at rifle inspection – reverted to Private.
Malta – 14th May 1906 – Neglect of duty on the line of march.
Rank: Corporal; Service Number: 562
Regiment: The Rifle Brigade, 4th Battalion.
Medals Awarded: Victory, British War & 1914 Star + 2 Clasps + Distinguished Conduct Medal – awarded to Acting Corporal T. Lewis, 1st Battalion, Rifle Brigade. (LG 6th September, 1915) For conspicuous gallantry and devotion to duty during operations south of Pikem on 6th July 1915. With a party of bomb-throwers he remained on the extreme left defending the position against repeated bombing attacks by the enemy. He remained in this position 24 hours after his company had been relieved, and until he was the only survivor of the party. On the afternoon of the 7th July he and a Non-Commissioned Officers were buried by a shell and the latter wounded, but Corporal Lewis remained firmly at his post.
Relatives Notified & Address: Son of Edward & Annie Lewis, of ‘St. Edmund’s Head’ The Mount, Ipswich.
1891 131, West Street, Leeds, Yorkshire.
Thomas was 4 years old and living with his parents & sister.
Edward Lewis, 44, a Fish Dealer – own account, born Hoxton, Yorkshire.
Ann Bennett, 27, a Housekeeper, born Leeds, Yorkshire.
Annie Lewis, 6, born Leeds, Yorkshire.
1901 ‘Shear’s Inn’ 5, Lowerhead Row, Huddersfield, West Yorkshire.
Thomas was 14 years old and living with his parents & sister.
Edward, 50, a Licensed Victualler – own account.
Ann Lewis, 40, born Leeds, Yorkshire.
Thomas was 24 years old, a Soldier ranked Acting Corporal for the 4th Battalion of The Rifle Brigade.
Thomas’s mother, Annie Lewis received the 1914 Star on the 9th July 1919, the Memorial Scroll on the 14th November 1919. The 1914 Clasp was sent to Annie from the Rifles Record Office on the 1st July 1912. She received the British War medal on the 7th January 1921 and the Victory medal on the 8th June 1921.
Soldiers’ Effects to Annie Lewis – mother.
- Reading the Particulars of Corpl. Lewis’s brave deed.
- General Coventry Williams, C.B., pinning on the medal.
D.C.M. PRESENTATION TO IPSWICH CORPORAL
An interesting function took place last week at the Artillery Barracks, Ipswich, when Corporal A.T. Lewis, of the Rifle Brigade, was presented with the Distinguished Conduct Medal. Corpl. Lewis was born at Leeds, but came to live at Ipswich with his parents some fifteen years ago, his home being at the St. Edmund’s Head Inn, on the Mount. After serving his time with the colours he worked at the Orwell Works, the Waterside Works, and Greyfriars Works, after which he entered the Post Office at Leigh-on-Sea as a postman, where he was engaged when called up at the outbreak of the war. Corpl. Lewis has seen active service right from the beginning, having been at Mons, on the Marne, and many other important engagements, until November, 1915, when he was drafted to Salonika. He is now at home for his first leave.
The deed which gained Corpl. Lewis his decoration is thus described in the Rifle Brigade orders:- “For conspicuous gallantry and devotion to duty during operations south of Pilkem on July 6th, 1915. With a party of bomb-throwers he remained on the extreme left defending the position against repeated bombing attacks by the enemy. He remained in this position twenty-four hours after his company had been relieved, and until he was the only survivor of the party. On the afternoon of July 7th he and a non-commissioned officer were buried by a shell and the latter wounded, but Corpl. Lewis remained firmly at his post.”
The presentation was made by Brigadier General Coventry Williams, C.B., who was accompanied by his aide-de-camp, Lieut. A. J. Rudford Norcop. The men of the Yeomanry (Cyclist) Regiment were drawn up on the parade ground in hollow square, under the command of Lieut. Col. L.E. Kennard and the other officers. After the reading of Corpl. Lewis’ brave deed, the General said he had great pleasure in performing his duty there that day. Every man was not born to be a hero, but in times like the present the opportunity came to many as it had come to Corpl. Lewis, He then pinned the ribbon on to Corpl. Lewis’ tunic, afterwards warmly shaking him by the hand and congratulating him upon the distinction he had won.
Thomas is also remembered on the war memorial at St. Mary Le Elms Church, Ipswich.