Topic: Private Thomas Guy

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A soldier of the Great War who died of pneumonia whilst in France.

Private Thomas Guy - 43971  

Thomas was born at Annat on 25th March 1886, son of John and Annie Guy. He had married Jessie Winifred Campbell at Amberly on 19th January 1916 and they had one child Gladys Mary. Before enlisting he was working a labourer for H. Cassidy at Springfield and living at Annat. He had previous military experience with the Malvern Mounted Rifles. He was 5ft 10in tall with a dark complexion, blue eyes and black hair.

Thomas enlisted at Darfield on 5th December 1917, his name having been drawn in the ballot, but did not begin his service until 5th January 1917and was assigned to the 24th Reinforcements, Canterbury Infantry Regiment, C Company. He embarked aboard the Pakeha from Wellington on 14th April but the ship returned and he re-embarked on the 26th April 1917 and reached Sydney on 2nd May. After a week they re-embarked and arrived in Devonport on 28 July 1917, marching into Sling Camp the same day. He left for France on 5th September and marched into camp at Etaples on the 9th September. He joined the 1st Battalion and was posted to the 13th Company on 16th September. He was wounded in the field, suffering a gunshot wound to his left arm, on 5th April and was admitted to the No 29 Casualty Clearing Station and taken to the No 56 General Hospital. From there he was evacuated to England and admitted to hospital at Walton on Thames on 10th April. After treatment he was sent to convalesce at Hornchurch on 19th April, to Codford on 15th June and marched in to Sling Camp on 18th July. Instead of being sent to France he was posted to Larkhill, not far from Stonehenge on the Salisbury Plain, on 3rd September. Larkhill Camp began in 1914, and was completed in early 1915, designated as the School of Instruction for Royal Horse and Field Artillery. It was an Infantry training camp and he would presumably have been undergoing training. He returned to Sling Camp on 29th September leaving for France three days later on 29th. He reached Etaples on 3rd October and joined the Canterbury Infantry Battalion in the field on the 7th October. Sadly, a week later on the 15th he was sent to No 3 Casualty clearing station where he died of pneumonia the next day, aged 32. He was buried and the co-ordinates recorded. After the war he was gathered in and he now lies in the Rocquigny-Equancourt Road British Cemetery. In New Zealand Thomas is remembered on the Malvern County and Sheffield War Memorials.   

Researched and written by L M Seaton    

CWGC Cemetery locale history: Etricourt was occupied by Commonwealth troops at the beginning of April 1917 during the German withdrawal to the Hindenburg Line. It was lost on the 23 March 1918 when the Germans advanced, but regained at the beginning of September. The cemetery was begun in 1917 and used until March 1918, mainly by the 21st and 48th Casualty Clearing Stations posted at Ytres, and to a small extent by the Germans, who knew it as "Etricourt Old English Cemetery". Burials were resumed by Commonwealth troops in September 1918 and the 3rd Canadian and 18th Casualty Clearing Stations buried in it in October and November 1918. The cemetery contains 1,838 Commonwealth burials and commemorations of the First World War. 21 of the burials are unidentified and nine Commonwealth graves made by the Germans which cannot now be found are represented by special memorials. The cemetery also contains 198 German war burials and the graves of ten French civilians. The cemetery was desiged by Sir Reginald Blomfield.

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Private Thomas Guy

First Names:Thomas
Last Name:Guy
Date of Birth:25 March 1886
Place of Birth:Annat
Date of Death:16 October 1918
Place of Death:Somme, France
Memorial or Cemetery:Rocquigny-Equancourt Road British cemetery, Manancourt
Age at death:32
User Name:L M Seaton
Occupation before enlisting:Labourer
Marital Status:Married: husband of Jessie Winifred Guy of Annat, Canterbury.
Regiment or Service:Canterbury Infantry Regiment
Country:New Zealand
Enlistment details:5th December 1917
Parents or Next of Kin:Son of John and Annie Guy, of Annat, Canterbury
Service Number:43971
Rank last held:Private
Embarkation:26 April 1917
Place of Embarkation:Wellington
Theatres of War:Western Front
Cause of Death:Died of disease