Boyer, Thomas William. Died 10th May 1917

Thomas was born in 1897, the eldest child of his parents Herbert Alfred and Agnes Pegg (nee Wiltshire) who were married in Peterborough Registration District in December quarter 1896. Both had been born in Peterborough.

We first find the family together in 1901 at 3 Hope Grove, Hendon in Middlesex. They became well travelled, not surprisingly as Herbert worked as a railway wagon repairer. After their marriage and Thomas’s birth in Peterborough, they moved to Fletton, Huntingdonshire where their daughter Maud was born (1899), and then to Cricklewood where two more daughters, Winifred (1901) and Daisy (1903), were born. Another daughter, Agnes, was born (1907) in Sandiacre, Nottinghamshire.

In 1911 Herbert and Agnes with their four children (Winifred had died in infancy) were living at 9 Gladstone Street, New Bilton, Herbert still a wagon repairer, and Thomas William aged 13 also working for the railway as a wagon painter.

Thomas’s army record has not survived, but Soldiers of the Great War records that he had joined the 10th Battalion of the Royal Warwickshire Regiment, no 16083, enlisting at Rugby, and risen to the rank of Corporal. He was awarded the Victory and British War medals.

Thomas was killed in action on 10 May 1917, he was 20 years old. The Regiment was at this time near Ypres, and the Regiment’s War Diary for that day reported that there had been an intense enemy barrage at 3.30am.   When it ceased, it was found that one of the gun posts with six men had been destroyed, and it seems that William was killed in this action. Altogether losses reported that day were 2 killed, 6 missing and 12 wounded.

Thomas is buried at Railway Dugouts Burial Ground, also known as Transport Farm, at Zillebeke, 2km from Ypres. It is so called because the railway line passed nearby on an embankment overlooking the small farm known by the troops as Transport Farm. Advanced Dressing Stations had been established in the dugouts and farm since the previous year. 1700 graves in the Cemetery were known and marked at the Armistice.

Thomas’s effects of £8.1s.6d, and a War Gratuity of £6 were sent to his father Herbert as next of kin.   His gravestone states that his parents were then at 17 Rutland Grove, Sandiacre.

Sources: CWGC; 1910 & 1911 censuses; GRO indexes; medal card; Soldiers Died in the Great War; War Diaries of the Royal Warwickshire Regiment WO95/2085/3 p263 on Ancestry.




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