Dedicated to the memory of all the men and women of the Bridgnorth area who died during the two World Wars.
Samuel Lewis Thomas was born at Ackleton in 1871. He was the son of George Thomas, a Maltster, and his wife Fanny (who was Sub-Postmistress).
Samuel worked with horses. In 1891 he was a domestic groom working for a family in Eardington but by 1901 he was living in Bridgnorth and working as a draper's carter - a position he still held in 1911. By 1915 he was living in Kidderminster where he worked as cellar man and groom.
Samuel married Annie Maria Shingler at St Leonard's, Bridgnorth, on 28th December, 1896. They had at least five children - though several appear to have died in childhood.
Samuel 'signed up' at Kidderminster on 18th October, 1915. He was immediately sent to Salonica as an Army Service Corps driver, arriving on 10th December. For most of his time in Salonica he was serving with 122 Company or 122 Pack Company but by the time of his death he was with 858 Coy ASC (The CWGC records say 358 Coy, but this is probably an error.)
Samuel died of heart failure on 1st February, 1917. He had been feeling unwell the previous day but had decided not to leave his duties to seek medical help. The following morning he failed to turn up for work and he was later found dead in his bed. Probably owing to the severe weather conditions at the time, a board of enquiry was held to establish the facts. The report of the board survives in Samuel's military record. It concluded that 'no circumstances surrounding his death were other than normal under the prevailing conditions in the field.'
One of the witnesses stated that on the night before he died Samuel "was talking about his brother who had been killed recently". If this is correct, it may refer to his brother George Henry, though I have found no record of his death.
Driver Samuel Thomas, T4/143630 A.S.C., was awarded the Victory and British Medals and the 1915 Star.
This memorial has mostly been compiled from official sources. It would be good to be able to expand it with more personal material - memories, stories, photos, etc. If you have any suitable material or any corrections please contact Greg. For news of updates follow @BridgnorthHeros on Twitter.