Dedicated to the memory of all the men and women of the Bridgnorth area who died during the two World Wars.
Walter James Thomas was the son of William Thomas, a tailor from Swansea, and his wife Ellen. Walter was born in Bridgnorth where the family had settled in Bernard’s Hill. When he left school, Walter worked for the Post Office.
Walter served with the 2nd Battalion King’s Shropshire Light Infantry. He went to France on 4th May, 1915 and was killed in action on the 25th – probably at Bellewaarde Ridge (part of Second Ypres, 1915). He is commemorated on the Ypres (Menin Gate) Memorial.
BRIDGNORTH SOLDIED KILLED [Bridgnorth Journal, 2nd October, 1915.] Company-Sergt-Major E. Crudge, 2nd K.S.L.I. who is at Summerdown Camp, Eastbourne, recovering from severe wounds received in action, writes to the Rev. R. B. Southwell, Chetton, near Bridgnorth, in answer to enquiries made respecting Corporal Walter Thomas, of 10 Bernard’s Hill, Bridgnorth, who was reported wounded and missing in May last. He says:- “I have just found out from a fellow who was with Corpl. Thomas in the engagement of 25th May that there were three of the K.S.L.I. and one of the East Surreys lying in a shell-hole close to the German lines, and Corpl. Thomas and another, as they were afraid of being captured, said they were going to try and get back, but in the attempt they were both killed. Previous to Corpl. Thomas being killed he had killed a German officer with his bayonet. What became of the East Surrey man I cannot say, but the other man of the K.S.L.I. I saw the other day, and in talking about things I found out that he was wounded the same time, and is probably the only one who can certify that Corpl. Thomas was killed. Trusting that this information will settle all doubts. – I remain, yours, etc.”
Corp Thomas, 9796, was awarded the Victory and British Medals and the 15 Star. His death was reported by the Bridgnorth Journal on 2nd October, 1915.
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.