Captain Thomas Thorne

Captain Thorne was killed on Hill 70 at the battle of Loos whilst trying to save a drummer, on 27 Sep 1915. His body was never found. Thomas Fleetwood Joseph Nicol Thorne was born on 10 Apr 1888 in Sevenoaks, the second son of Augustus Thorne, and Mary Francis nee Nicol of 22 Great Cumberland Place and Dornhirst, Sevenoaks. Augustus was a London Merchant, Barrister at Law in the Middle Temple, and Deputy Lieutenant of Tower Hamlets. Mary was the daughter of Andrew Nicol, coffee planter, who owned various plantations in Ceylon, and Jane, the daughter of John Stonach of Banffshire. The regimental history (vol 1) has this to say on page 314:

'During the last part of the advance Major Myles Ponsonby was hit while advancing with his men. Captain Thorne, the adjutant, remained with him, although they were only 25 yards from the Germans, tied up his wounds, and seeing how badly he was wounded, gave him morphia tablets. Early next morning Major Ponsonby died...Captain Thorne was himself wounded in the head, and after leaving Major Ponsonby he tried to get back when it was dark. On the way he came upon two drummers who had been acting as orderlies; one had been killed and the other wounded through the leg. Knowing that if he left the boy where he was, he would probably be killed, he determined to carry him back. He put him on his shoulders and started off, but must have made some noise, for the Germans at once put up a flare and fired at him with machine-guns. He fell forward at once with the drummer, both killed.'

Thomas was educated at Mulgrave School, Osborne Road, New Windsor; Eton and Christ Church. He joined the Grenadier Guards in Sep 1909 and was promoted to Lieutenant in Sep 1910, and captain in Feb 1915. He was appointed adjutant of the newly formed 4th Battalion in July 1915. He is remembered on the Loos memorial. Captain Thorne bequeathed 1,000 pounds to a Memorial Fund for the relief of widows and families, and assisting discharged NCOs and men.

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by Stephen Luscombe