Private Thomas Elsbury 2nd KOYLI 1914

Private Thomas Elsbury 2nd KOYLI 1914

Private Thomas Elsbury 2nd KOYLI 1914

Service No:………………3/1841
Date of Death:…………08/11/1914
Regiment:…………………King’s Own Yorkshire Light Infantry
…………………………………3rd Bn.
Grave Reference:…….25. 320.

Soldiers Died in the Great War records that Private 3/1841 Thomas Elsbury Died of wounds whilst serving in the Western Europe Theatre of War with the 2nd Battalion Kings Own (Yorkshire Light Infantry). He was born and enlisted Battersea, London. No place of residence is shown.

There is a Medal Index Card for Private 3/1841 Thomas Elsbury, Yorkshire Light Infantry, held at the National Archive under reference WO 372/6/201438

Thomas had entered a Theatre of War on the 1st September 1914 and so qualified for the 1914/15 Star.

On the WW1 Medal Rolls for the Yorkshire Light Infantry, Thomas is recorded serving with the 2nd Battalion.

As he has a 3rd Battalion Service number and went out straight away, I initially thought he either was literally just completing his training or he was a returning reservist. If it’s the latter, then the search of the Regiments Medal Rolls also brought up another possibility. Private 4884 T Elsbury appears on the Roll of Individuals entitled to the Indian Medal 1895, with clasps inscribed “Punjab Frontier 1897-8”, “Malakand 1897”, “Samana 1897” and “Tirah 1897”. He was serving in the 2nd Kings Own Yorkshire Light Infantry and like all the other men on the sheet he was only entitled to the clasp for the Punjab Frontier and Tirah. At the time the Roll was completed, (July 1898), that soldier was still serving – there are notes against some of the names that they were now in England having been discharged to the Army Reserve.

A further check also shows him on the Regiments’ award roll for the Second Anglo-Boer War of 1899 – 1902.

There is no obvious Soldiers Will or Civil Probate for this soldier.

That service number would indicate he joined up between January 1893 and January 1894.…

The death of a Thomas Elsbury aged 36 was recorded in the Norwich District in the October to December quarter, (Q4), of 1914.


There is no obvious match for a Thomas Elsbury (or Ellsbury) with any likely date of birth in England and Wales, nor does any Elsbury born 1878 +/- 4 years seen to fit the bill.

Census and other records

My initial starting point has to be the age of the man whose death was recorded in Norwich and 1914 and place of birth as shown as SDGW. But this threw up a complete blank in areas like birth and census records.

Using the Family Search threw up a couple of potential links from the London Electoral Register – there was a Thomas Elsbury recorded in the borough of Battersea in 1904 at 19 Brougham Street, Culvert Road, S W London. Thomas rented a 1 room unfurnished apartment on the 1st floor from a William Tyler who lived at the same address.
and then in 1910 there is a Thomas recorded at a dwelling house at 40 Lockington Road, Clapham.
But that’s the only two times. I could not find Thomas at this address on the 1911 census, which then consisted of at least 4 households. It may be a complete co-incidence but nearby in one of the flats at 44 “Lockinton” Road was an elderly couple, Charles and Thirza Elsbury. Charles was 81 and a Bookbinder from Banbury Oxford, while Thirza was 70. The couple have been married 23 years and have had no children, so Thomas wasn’t their son, but I started trying to track Charles back to see if he had an earlier marriage, and strangely he too proved very elusive. In 1881 there was a 50 year old Charles, a bookbinder, living at 19 Arthur Street, Battersea, but he gives his place of birth as Clerkenwell, Middlesex. He was married then to a Sarah, who was aged 50 and from Cambridge. There are no children living with them.

On the 1851 Census there is a 19 year old Charles from London, a Bookbinder, who was living with his parents at 13 Hobson Street, Cambridge.

Fortunately his wife on the 1881 census proved a little easier to track down. It also led me to wonder again at some of the search engines used by genealogy sites as her husband is clearly transcribed as Charles Elsbury and of an age that should have brought him up as a match.

The 1871 census is the most useful one. The family were then at 56 Arthur Street, Battersea. Along with Charles, aged 38 and a Book Binder from London, Middlesex, and Sarah, aged 40 and from Cambridge are children:-
Elizabeth……aged 16….born London, Middlesex
Sarah………..aged 15….born London, Middlesex
Ellen…………aged 12…born Chelsea
Charles………aged 10…born Chelsea
Edward………aged 8…..born Chelsea
Emelia………..aged 6….born Chelsea
Thomas……aged 4…..born Westminster
James…………aged 2….born Battersea

So at this point my thought was – is this our Thomas. Had he lied about his age in order to join up. After all, if he was the same man who was serving in 1897 he would long since have completed his standard 12 years, (7 years in the colours, 5 years in reserves), unless he had extended his original engagement. And why were there no children living with Charles and Sarah on the 1881 census?

I tried taking a look for a Thomas Elsbury born circa 1867 on the census.

In 1881 there is a 14 year old Thomas, place of birth not known, who was recorded as a Scholar aboard the Training Ship Shaftesbury, then moored in the West Ham District.

The Training Ship Shaftesbury was established in 1878 by the London School Board, one of the many such bodies created following the 1870 Elementary Education Act. The Board decided that a Training Ship would be a good way of dealing with problem boys, such as persistent truants. Perhaps because of this, a request to the Admiralty for the loan of a suitable ship proved unsuccessful and the Board spent £7,000 on the purchase of a former P&O vessel, the Nubia. The ship, renamed Shaftesbury, was moored on the River Thames, off Grays, not far from another training ship, the Exmouth. On July 31st, 1878, the Shaftesbury officially certified as an Industrial School Ship to accommodate 350 boys, aged 12-14, up to 70 of whom could be Roman Catholics. The first boys were received on August 8th, 1873. The ship’s capacity was raised to 500 in 1881 then lowered to 400 in 1899.

On the night of January 18th, 1881, a terrible storm led to the Shaftesbury breaking away from her moorings and being in considerable danger for a while. The ship then spent some time moored at Greenhithe.

Scrawled across the 1891 census page were the words: "Under legal detention to the age of 16 years according to the Industrial Schools Act of 1866 and Safeguard Act".

Named after the founder of Training Ships, Lord Shaftebsury, the Shaftesbury was commissioned as a training school for "unmanageable boys" of 14 or younger, with the aim of getting them off the streets, where most were scratching an illegal living by begging or stealing, and giving them a useful skill. The British Medical Journal of 1903 says of the boys: "At first youths who have lived their lives running wild in the gutters and slums pine very much for their liberty, but once this feeling has worn off they lead comparatively happy lives and become contented."

The boys would be scrubbed and given a hair cut and a new suit of clothes as well as the opportunity to learn a skill (our boy became a Sailmaker), and participate in sports, music and lessons. The boys were given three meals a day, which included bread, butter, potatoes, cocoa and jam or marmalade with meat pie on a Wednesday and fish on Friday.

On the 1891 Census there is a 24 year old Thomas, born Battersea, a Plumbers Mate from Battersea, London who was recorded as the head of one of the households at Brougham Street, Battersea. As this ties up with the Electoral Register entry in 1903, it would seem unlikely that this individual would have gone on to sign up in the Army and served in India. On the 1901 census the 34 year old Thomas, still single and by now a Plumber, was still at the same address. He is also now giving his birthplace as London, Westminster, making it very likely that he was the son of Charles. That Thomas doesn’t appear to be on the 1911 census, however there also doesn’t appear to be a death recorded in England and Wales that would account for this.

The assumption for now is that the Thomas recorded aboard the Training Ship in 1881, and the PlumberPlumbers Mate, were one and the same person, even though place of birth was not known. Just in case I also checked the Royal Navy Ratings records at the National Archive and there is no likely match for another Thomas. So, reluctantly, I scrubbed him off the list of potential matches.

So returning to look for a Thomas Elsbury with a Battersea connection I then found a 25 year old single man, a Baths Attendant for the Borough Council who was born Battersea, who was recorded living with his married brother at 8 Kerrison Road, Battersea. His brother was the 27 year old Charles, a Packer in a Boot Polish Factory who was also born Battersea he lives at this address with his wife of 2 years, the 26 year old Mary Anne Elsbury, a Laundress from Battersea. So far that couple have had just the one child, the 18 month old Edward, born Battersea.

Going back 10 years, Thomas and Charles were recorded living with their parents at 3 Ragwood Street, Battersea. Thomas worked as a Builders Labourer and would of course have been far too young to have been the man fighting out in India in 1897 and even too young to be out in South Africa before the end of the Boer War. His parents were Edward, (aged 44 and a General Labourer from Chelsea), and Jane, (aged 39 and from Battersea). As well as Charles and Edward the couple have three other children.

So this latest Thomas is in the mix because of the place of birth. Given his age its unlikely he would have been going through basic training in mid-1914 and while its just about possible that he would have completed his 7 years service by the time of the 1911 census, and would still have been in the reserves at the outbreak of war, liable for immediate re-call to the ranks, the timeline is a bit tight. It also does not tie in with the stated age of the Thomas Elsbury who died in the Norwich District in November 1914. I struggled to see why a man who would be 28/29 would claim to be 40 in order to see combat.

So for now I’d reached a dead-end and turned to the assistance of the professionals!

Thanks to “MickLeeds” at the Great War Forum I now know that Private 4884 was a Thomas Elsbury, born about 1877, enlisted 1895 and discharged in 1907 after 12 years service. His mother was Ann Elsbury of Chatham Street, Battersea.

Craig at the same site who has done some great work around length of service based around the net war gratuity paid, advised it was unlikely he was a recalled reservist. The transcription of his record in the Army Register of Soldiers Effects also has him as a Thomas Asbury, but the original document is in the name of Thomas Elsbury. His widow is shown as Alice M.M.…

So working through that additional information.

Private 4884 Thomas Elsbury would have been the right age and with a known Battersea connection to have been Private 3/1841 Thomas Elsbury.

His period of service and the known campaigns he fought in would have meant he was not recorded on the 1901 census.

There is an Alice Elsbury with a Battersea connection and although she is difficult to track down, she does have points in common with the other Elsbury’s I investigated in the hope of finding Thomas – she was born Cambridge, just like the juvenile delinquent Thomas, and was living at one stage at Culvert Road.

On the 1891 census the 41 year old widowed Laundress Ironer Annie, from Cambridge, was recorded living at 27 Culvert Road, Battersea. This was the household of a 19 year old single woman, Martha Kite, a Laundress from Battersea, and Martha’s son, the 10 month old George Kite.

When she appears on the 1911 census, aged 62 and working as an Ironer, she was recorded as the Head of the Household at 41 Carpenter Street, Battersea. Although she describes herself as a widow, she states he was married for 40 years so possibly either misunderstood the question or was actually estranged from her husband at the time of the1891 census. Annie says she has had eight children, of which two were still alive. Both happened to be living with her at this time.

Her 30 year old widowed daughter, Mrs R Mandy, born Chelsea, also works as an Ironer. Her two children are living with them – Jonnie Henry Mandy, (4) and George James Mandy, (6) – both born Battersea. Its Mrs Rose Mandy who has completed the form and signed it on behalf of her mother, according to the declaration.

The other child is a 34 year old single man, A.George Elsbury, born Battersea, who works for a Furrier. This was the very first match I had for a Elsbury of the right age with a Battersea connection when I first widened my search criteria after drawing a blank looking for Thomas, but discounted it as I couldn’t see a first name connection.

Now there is no obvious match of a marriage of Thomas Elsbury or an “A”.George Elsbury for any period to an Alice, but there is potentially one for a George T.Elsbury. The civil register for marriage at that time had at least two weddings on each page, which can make it difficult to establish who married who, but a wedding took place in the Wandsworth District of London in the April to June quarter of 1911 between George T and either an Ethel Balfour or an Alice M Locke. Marriages were not cross referenced in the annual index at this time.

Normally I’d try and confirm that by looking to see what was on the next census, but in this case its not an option, nor does my bank account run to purchasing a copy of the marriage certificate. Next step is therefore to try and establish what happened to Alice. I couldn’t find a likely death in England and Wales, but I could find the marriage of an Alice M.M. Elsbury.

This took place in the Wandsworth District in 1916, and because the marriages are cross referenced by this stage I can tell she married a James Kent.

It may be a co-incidence but the death of an Alice M.M.Kent, aged 36, was recorded in the Wandsworth District in the April to June quarter of 1921.

Post August 1911 it had become compulsory when registering a birth in England and Wales to also record the maiden name of the mother. A search of the General Registrars Office Index of Births for England and Wales produces one potential child of Thomas and Alice – the birth of an Emily L Elsbury, mothers maiden name Locke, was recorded in the Wandsworth District in the January to March quarter of 1912. This combination of surname and mothers maiden name doesn’t occur again until the 1970’s.

There is no obvious death of a George T Elsbury recorded in England and Wales.

So back I scuttled to the birth register for 1877 (+/- 2 years) as I now had several variations on this soldiers first name to look up. But again I drew a blank as far as England and Wales are concerned.

Moving on to the 1891 census there was a 14 year old George Elsbury, place of birth unknown, who was recorded as a patient at the Chelsea Workhouse Infirmary, Cale Street, Chelsea.

(Chelsea Workhouse)

Looking for his sister Rosa on the same census finds her, aged 10 and born Chelsea, recorded as a Scholar at the Kensington and Chelsea District School + Cottage Home which was located at Banstead, Epsom, Surrey.

(Kensington and Chelsea District School)

As for that wife, there is a 26 year old Miss A.M.M.Locke, a Domestic Servant, born Chelsea, who was recorded living with her mother and step-father at 19 Green Lane, High Street, Battersea on the 1911 Census. They were Mr E.E and Mrs A.M.M.Harris.

One last search was for the marriage of his mother. If she had been married for 40 years in 1911, then looking should have brought up a match at the end of the 1860’s start of the 1870’s, but this just seems to draw a blank.

So lots of hints and possible glimpses but no clear picture. I’ve set out my investigatory journey above in part because some of the delight for me is the incidental stuff I uncover along the way, even when it turns out not to relate the individual I’m researching. While I’ve no doubt they were staged for the camera, there are some great photographs of life aboard the Training Ship Shaftesbury and the Chelsea Poor Union School.

Military Unit

Assuming it was the same Thomas then:-

1897 to 1898 – Punjab and Tirah

A sample of the medal can be seen here…
or here…
or here large.pdf

A contemporary account of the Campaign in Tirah can be read here…
The action at Dargai…

The Tirah Campaign, often referred to in contemporary British accounts as the Tirah Expedition, was an Indian frontier war in 1897–1898. Tirah is a mountainous tract of country in what is now a federally administered tribal area of Pakistan.

The Afridi tribe had received a subsidy from the government of British India for the safeguarding of the Khyber Pass for sixteen years; in addition to which the government had maintained for this purpose a local regiment entirely composed of Afridis, who were stationed in the pass. Suddenly, however, the tribesmen rose, captured all the posts in the Khyber held by their own countrymen, and attacked the forts on the Samana Range near the city of Peshawar. The Battle of Saragarhi occurred at this stage. It was estimated that the Afridis and Orakzais could, if united, bring from 40,000 to 50,000 men into the field. The preparations for the expedition occupied some time, and meanwhile British authorities first dealt with the Mohmand rising northwest of the Khyber Pass


The general commanding was General Sir William Lockhart commanding the Punjab Army Corps; he had under him 34,882 men, British and Indian, in addition to 20,000 followers. The frontier post of Kohat was selected as the base of the campaign, and it was decided to advance along a single line. On 18 October, the operations commenced, fighting ensuing immediately. The Dargai heights, which commanded the line of advance, were captured without difficulty, but abandoned owing to the want of water. On 20 October the same positions were stormed, with a loss of 199 of the British force killed and wounded. The progress of the expedition, along a difficult track through the mountains, was obstinately contested on 29 October at the Sampagha Pass leading to the Mastura valley, and on 31 October at the Arhanga Pass from the Mastura to the Tirah valley


The force, in detached brigades, now proceeded to traverse the Tirah district in all directions, and to destroy the walled and fortified hamlets of the Afridis. The two divisions available for this duty numbered about 20,000 men. A force about 3,200 strong commanded by Brigadier-General (afterwards Major General Sir Richard) Westmacott was first employed to attack Saran Sar, which was easily carried, but during the retirement the troops were hard pressed by the enemy and the casualties numbered sixty-four. On 11 November, Saran Sar was again attacked by the brigade of Brigadier-General (afterwards Sir Alfred) Gaselee. Experience enabled better dispositions to be made, and the casualties were only three. The traversing of the valley continued, and on 13 November Brigadier General Francis James Kempster’s third brigade visited the Waran valley via the Tseri Kandao Pass. Little difficulty was experienced during the advance, and several villages were destroyed; but on the 16th, during the return march, the rearguard was hotly engaged all day, and had to be relieved by fresh troops next morning. The casualties in the British force numbered seventy-two. Almost daily the Afridis, too wise to risk general engagements, waged a perpetual guerrilla warfare, and the various bodies of troops engaged in foraging or survey duties were constantly attacked. On 21 November, a brigade under Brigadier-General Westmacott was detached to visit the Rajgul valley. The road was exceedingly difficult and steady opposition was encountered. The objectives were accomplished, and the casualties during the retirement alone numbered twenty-three. The last task undertaken was the punishment of the Chamkannis, Mamuzais and Massozais. This was carried out by Brigadier-General Gaselee, who joined hands with the Kurram movable column ordered up for the purpose. The Mamuzais and Massozais submitted immediately, but the Chamkannis offered resistance on 1 and 2 December, the British casualties numbering about thirty


The Kurram column then returned to its camp, and Lockhart prepared to evacuate Tirah, despatching his two divisions by separate routes: the first under Major-General W. Penn Symons (d. 1899) to return via the Mastura valley, destroying the forts on the way, and to join at Bara, within easy march of Peshawar; the second division under Major General Yeatman Biggs (d. 1898), and, accompanied by Lockhart, to move along the Bara valley. The base was thus to be transferred from Kohat to Peshawar. The return march began on 9 December. The cold was intense, 21 degrees of frost being registered before leaving Tirah. The movement of the first division though arduous was practically unopposed, but the 40 miles to be covered by the second division were contested almost throughout.

The actual march down the Bara valley (34 miles) commenced on 10 December, and involved four days of the hardest fighting and marching of the campaign. The road crossed and recrossed the icy stream, while snow, sleet and rain fell constantly. On the 10th, the casualties numbered about twenty. On the 11th, some fifty or sixty casualties were recorded among the troops, but many followers were killed or died of exposure, and quantities of stores were lost. On the 12th, the column halted for rest. On the 13th, the march was resumed in improved weather, though the cold was still severe. The rearguard was heavily engaged, and the casualties numbered about sixty. On the 14th, after further fighting, a junction with the Peshawar column was effected. The first division, aided by the Peshawar column, now took possession of the Khyber forts without opposition.

Negotiations for peace were then begun with the Afridis, who under the threat of another expedition into Tirah in the spring at length agreed to pay the fines and to surrender the rifles demanded. The expeditionary force was broken up on 4 April 1898.

Photographs from the campaign…

1899 to 1902 – 2nd Anglo-Boer War

The 2nd Battalion was in South Africa when the war broke out, having been brought from Mauritius, and was employed at strategical points in Cape Colony until Lord Methuen was ready to advance. They then formed part of the 9th Brigade along with the 1st Northumberland Fusiliers, half of the 1st Loyal North Lancashire Regiment, and the 2nd Northampton Regiment. A sketch of the work of the brigade is given under the 1st Northumberland Fusiliers.
At Belmont, 23rd November 1899, the Yorkshire Light Infantry were in the supporting line, and the only casualties they had were a few men wounded. Major Earle was mentioned in Lord Methuen’s despatch of 26th November 1899.

At Enslin on the 25th they took a very prominent part, and if they did not lose so heavily as the Naval Brigade, that is accounted for by their not crowding in the attack and making a better use of the ground. Their losses were approximately 8 men killed, 3 officers and 40 men wounded. Colour Sergeant Waterhouse was mentioned in Lord Methuen’s despatch as to Enslin.
At Modder River the services of the battalion were invaluable. After the attack by the Guards Brigade on the right had come to a standstill, or, more correctly, a lie still, the 9th Brigade bored in on the left, and two companies of the Yorkshire Light Infantry under Colonel Barter, with some Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders and Fusiliers, assaulted and carried some buildings on the near side of the river which commanded the drift. The battalion’s losses were approximately 1 officer and 8 men killed, and 3 officers and 50 men wounded. Colonel Barter was mentioned in Lord Methuen’s despatch of 1st December 1899.

At Magersfontein, 11th December, the 9th Brigade were employed demonstrating on the British left; but the Yorkshire Light Infantry were detached from the brigade for the day, their task being to protect Lord Methuen’s right and prevent the enemy from the Jacobsdal-Kimberley road breaking in on the rear of the Highland Brigade. As matters turned out, they had plenty of work, the enemy pushing in with some force. The battalion kept their ground. Their losses were not heavy.

When Lord Roberts was preparing to advance from Bloemfontein he created some new brigades. One of these, the 20th, was put under Major General A H Paget. It consisted of the 2nd Yorkshire Light Infantry, transferred from the 9th Brigade, 1st Munster Fusiliers, 4th South Staffordshire Regiment, and 4th Scottish Rifles. After crossing from Hoopstad to the Kroonstad district Lord Methuen’s division—that is, the 9th and 20th Brigades—had some fighting in the Lindley district, and in the beginning of June Paget’s brigade was left to garrison Lindley.
In the operations which ended in the surrender of Prinsloo, Paget’s force took part. On 25th June a large convoy left Kroonstad for Lindley. The escort was 800 mounted men, a wing of the Yorkshire Light Infantry, the 3rd East Kent, four guns City Imperial Volunteers’ Battery, and two of the 17th RFA, the whole under Colonel Brookfield, 14th Battalion Imperial Yeomanry. The convoy was heavily attacked on the 26th and 27th by the enemy, 1500 strong, with two guns, but his attacks were all driven off and the convoy was brought in. On the 26th June Private C Ward of the Yorkshire Light Infantry gained the VC for volunteering to carry a message to a signalling station through a storm of bullets. He insisted on returning to his force, and in doing so was severely wounded.

During July there was almost constant fighting up to the date of Prinsloo’s surrender, 30th July. After that the battalion was railed to the Transvaal, and marched past Lord Roberts in Pretoria on 13th August. Along with the 2nd Northumberland Fusiliers, 2nd Worcesters, and 1st Border Regiment, the battalion was put into a column under Clements, which for some months operated between Rustenburg, Krugersdorp, and Johannesburg.

Eleven officers and 14 non-commissioned officers and men were mentioned in Lord Roberts’ final despatch.

Twenty-two men of the Yorkshire Light Infantry under a lance-corporal were among the escort of a convoy which was attacked on the Pretoria-Rustenburg road on 3rd December 1900. The escort "fought with great gallantry", and were able to save one-half of the convoy. Out of their 23 present the Yorkshire Light Infantry lost 5 killed and 6 wounded.

Four companies of the battalion were with General Clements when he met with the disaster at Nooitgedacht on 13th December 1900 (see 2nd Northumberland Fusiliers). The half-battalion formed the rear-guard and did splendid work: they lost 6 killed and 5 wounded and about 46 taken prisoners. Unofficial accounts stated that the men of the battalion fought very well. For gallant conduct in these affairs 4 non-commissioned officers and men were mentioned in Lord Kitchener’s despatch of 8th March 1901. One officer afterwards got mention.

In 1901 the battalion was chiefly in the Eastern Transvaal. They formed part of General Alderson’s column, one of those which under General French swept to the Zulu border in January, February, and March 1901. For a time the battalion was garrison at Elandsfontein. On 31st October 1901 they made a particularly fine march to go to the assistance of Colonel Benson’s column. In the last phase the battalion was chiefly in blockhouses about Ermelo.

The Mounted Infantry company saw a great deal of work. Dealing with Colonel Benson’s action at Baakenlaagte on 30th October 1901, Lord Kitchener says, "In spite of the gallant efforts of the Mounted Infantry company of the Yorkshire Light Infantry and a squadron of the Scottish Horse, which promptly formed up on the flanks of the guns", the ridge fell into the enemy’s hands, "with the exception of a portion which a party of the Mounted Infantry held till dark". The company’s losses were 4 officers and 9 men killed, and 1 officer and 9 men wounded,— adequate testimony to the severity of the fighting, and also to the splendid tenacity of the men of the battalion.
In Lord Kitchener’s final despatch 6 officers and 8 non-commissioned officers and men were mentioned.



23 and 24 August Battle of Mons [II. Corps].
23 August to 05 September RETREAT FROM MONS [II. Corps].
26 August Battle of le Cateau [II. Corps].
01 September Crepy en Valois.
06 to 09 September Battle of the Marne [II. Corps]
13 to 20 September BATTLE OF THE AISNE [II. Corps]
13 September Passage of the Aisne.
20 September Actions on the Aisne Heights.
10 October to 02 November Battle of la Bassee [II. Corps].
31 October to 02 November Battle of Messines (2/K.O.S.B., 2.K.O.Y.L.I.) [Cav. Corps]
05 to 19 November BATTLE OF YPRES [I. Corps]
The 2nd KOYLI suffered very heavily at Le Cateau at the end of August, with many taken prisoner.

In the action at Le Cateau 2 KOYLI suffered the loss of 18 officers and 582 men out of a total of 26 officers and 902 men.…

It’s not therefore so surprising that Thomas would have been rushed over to make good the numbers.

As his service record does not appear to have survived it is not possible to identify when and how Thomas incurred the wounds that would lead to his death. As can be seen from the list above, his unit saw plenty of action between the time he landed in France, even allowing a week for him to catch up with them in the field, and his death in Norwich, again allowing a few days minimum for him to have been evacuated back to the UK.

Posted by Moominpappa06 on 2016-03-21 18:02:38

Tagged: , Norwich , Norwich Cemetery , Earlham Cemetery , Norfolk , UK , CWGC Headstone , In memoria , Dulce et decorum est , Old Soldiers Rest in Peace , Home fallen of the Great War , Thomas Elsbury , 2nd Battalion Kings Own Yorkshire Light Infantry , 08/11/1914 , 8th November 1914

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