Known on war records as Thomas Seamons/Seamans.
Born: 1881, Worthington, Leicestershire.
Died: 6th January 1900; KiA at Suffolk Hill, Colesberg, Northern Cape, South Africa.
Residence: 124, Clarke Street, Luton, Bedfordshire.
Employed: In the service of Mr. Arthur Bates Flemons, a grocer, of 155, Castle Street, Luton. Formerly in the service of Dr. Joseph Anthony Simons, a physician and surgeon, late (died Christmas Eve, 1896), of Linden House, George Street, West, Luton.
Joined the Suffolk Regiment, 1st Battalion, at Dover, Kent in 1898.
Rank: Private; Service Number: 4738.
Regiment: Suffolk Regiment, 1st Battalion.
Clasp Awarded: Cape Colony.
Maternal cousin to CHARLES HENRY ELLINGHAM.
17, Foundry Lane, Luton, Bedfordshire.
Walter was 9 years old and living with his parents and siblings.
Michael How Seamons, 34, a Straw Hat Machinist, born Hardwick, Buckinghamshire.
Sarah Seamons (nee Welch), 39, a Straw Hat Sewer, born Cowley, Middlesex.
Dora Seamons, 7, born Luton.
Sarah Seamons, 5, born Luton.
William How Seamond, 2, born Luton.
Luton Times and Advertiser – Friday, 12th January 1900 – A LUTON MAN KILLED AT COLESBERG.
HIS LAST LETTER HOME.
We regret to hear that a fine young soldier from Luton, Private T. Seamons, of the 1st Suffolk Regiment, son of Mr. and Mrs. Michael H. Seamons, of 124, Castle Street, was killed in the disastrous affair outside Colesberg on Saturday. Private Seamons scarcely 19 years of age, and joined the 1st Suffolks at Dover two years ago. He was induced to join this particular Regiment from the fact that his two cousins, the sons of Mr. C. Ellingham, of St. Albans, were with the Suffolks, and also another friend, Paymaster Cooke, of Dunstable, who has just been ordered out. Private Seamons was a fine young fellow, about 6 feet in height, and belonged to the best shooting squad of the Regiment. As a lad, he was in the service of the late Dr. Simons, of George Street West, and worked a short time for Mr. A. Flemons, grocer, of Castle Street. He was a good and dutiful son and was much attached to his parents, his little brother and two sisters. The letter, given below, and dated 5th December, only reached his mother a short time back, and it is very pathetic to notice how he speaks of going to war with his mother’s portrait put in his breast pocket. His comrade “Charlie,” mentioned in the letter, Corporal Charles Ellingham, his cousin. He always spoke highly of Colonel Watson, who fell at the head of his men. Mr. James Seamons, of 130, Dunstable Road, is his uncle, and deep sympathy will be felt for all relatives and friends. His last letter is given below: –
5th December 1899.
Dear Mother, Just a few lines, hoping you are quite well, as it leaves us the same. We arrived at Cape Town on Tuesday, 28th November landed on the 29th, and then we had 48 hours’ ride on the train up to where we are now, Naauwpoort, just off the borders of the Orange Free State. We passed about a hundred Boer prisoners going to Cape Town. We have not done any fighting yet; we thought we were going to have a brush with the enemy the day we got here. Just before we arrived about a dozen or two Boers got on a hill close to the camp and shot one of the mules. One of the companies was sent out after them, but they retired. Scouts are out all day. They say the enemy are about 18 miles from here. We expect a brush with them any day, but this is only a relief station. As more troops land, we shall get further up country, so we shall get some when we get further up. It is jolly hot here in the day and cold at night, as it is at home. It is all hills and sand. If there is any wind at all, and you can’t see a dozen yards for the sand. You find it jolly rough if you are facin’ it, and whirlwinds by the score. If you have any of the things lying outside your tent such as your washing or blankets, it takes them up in the air. You perhaps have to wait for it to come down, and then run half a mile after it. Charlie is quite well and sends his love to all. Remember me to Mrs. Flemons and all the rest. I must now conclude with love to all from your ever-loving son,
4738 Pte. T. Seamons, D Company, 1st Suffolk Regiment, Field Force, South Africa.
Writing to his mother on November 27th. Private T. Seamons said: “We expect to land to-morrow (Tuesday), the 28th. We have had a grand voyage, and I send you a photo of the ship we are on. Please don’t forget father’s photo, if it will go in an envelope. I am going to take yours in my pocket, and have cut it so that it will fit in my pocket.”
One of the notable Battles with a large loss of Suffolk life was the “Battle of Suffolk Hill” at Colesberg, Northern Cape 5th- 6th January 1900. The hill was originally called Red or Grassy Hill. The Suffolk Regiment was ordered to make a night attack on a Boer position on the heights, four companies, 354 of all ranks, set out at midnight under the command of Col. Watson. A storm of bullets met the Suffolks. The Colonel was amongst the first to fall, and the party later retired with 11 officers and 150+ men killed, wounded or captured.