Born: 10th October 1865, Calcutta, Bengal, East Indies.

Baptised: 5th December 1865, at Jubbulpore, Bengal. Parents: George Cadogan Thomson & Harriet Anne Thomson.

Died: 9th June 1900; age: 34; Committed Suicide – temporarily insane, at Pretoria, Gauteng Province, South Africa.

William was taken PoW on the 6th January 1900, at Colesberg.

Residence: Fair View, Farnborough, Hampshire.



William joined the Connaught Rangers in May 1885. He was promoted to a Lieutenant with the Connaught Rangers in 1892. William was transferred to the Suffolk Regiment, and in November 1894, promoted to Captain. He was Adjutant from August 1895 – August 1899. William went out to South Africa with the Suffolk Regiment, in November 1899.


Rank: Captain.

Regiment: Suffolk Regiment, 1st Battalion, South Africa Field Force.


Clasps Awarded: Cape Colony & Transvaal.




1871   The Mount, Wadhurst, East Sussex.


William was 5 years old and living with his mother & sister at the home of his paternal grandmother and step grandfather’s home.

William Gordon Thomson, 87, a Magistate for Kent and East Sussex, born Clifton, Gloucestershire – died September 1876, Wadhurst, East Sussex.

Olivia Elizabeth Thomson (nee Fichat (1st marriage Thomson)), 55, born Cape of Good Hope, Eastern Province, South Africa.

Harriet Anne Adelaide Thomson (nee Cooke), 25, wife of Capt. G.C. Thomson, born Bengal.

Maud Thomson, 7, born Bengal.

1 cook.

3 general domestic servants.

Entrace Lodge – 1 gardener and his wife.


1881   Chatham House College, Chatham Street, Ramsgate, Kent.


William was 15 years old, a Pupil/Boarder at the boys school. Head Master – 25 year old, Reverend Edward Gripper Banks (without the care of souls) – employing 12 Masters.

Father: George Thomson (third from right) in a group photo of the 1st Light Cavalry

William’s father was George Cadogan Thomson, born April 1835, Cape of Good Hope, South Africa – died September 1896, at 12, Welbeck Street, Marylebone, London, of Little Thurlow Park, Little Thurlow, Suffolk. A Colonel for the 1st Bengal Cavalry.

Probate to Harriet Anne Adelaide Thomson – mother.




Images courtesy of www.britishmedals.





William is also remembered on the family headstone at Tunbridge Wells, Kent.

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. The Suffolks were met by a storm of bullets. The Colonel was amongst the first to fall, and the party later retired with 11 officers and 150+ men killed, wounded or captured.

The Boer War.

Suffolk Regiment 

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