Regiment : 5th Battalion Gloucestershire Regiment
Service number : 664
Conflict : WW1
Date of death : Killed in action on 13th May 1915
Buried : Ploegsteert Wood Military Cemetery, Belgium, Grave III. D. 4.
Birthplace : Born and enlisted Blockley, Worcestershire
Memorial : Blockley St Peter and St Paul's Church WW1 Memorial
Also appears on : Blockley War Memorial under Soldiers 1916 with the information: Pte. My 13
Credits : All research courtesy of the researcher of the casualties on the Blockley War Memorials.
Thomas Franklin was born in Blockley in 1888, the son of a labourer. He is presumed to have been residing at home in 1891 but he has not been located on the 1891 census. In 1894 his father died and his mother Eliza remarried. In 1901 Thomas was at home in Blockley as well as in 1911, working as a labourer in an electrics works on the latter date. His stepfather had died in 1903. His mother had had six children by 1911, three of whom were still living – older brother James, Thomas himself, and a daughter Emily by William Holtom.
Thomas fought, and lost his life, in World War 1 after several years as a Territorial soldier. His personal military documents have not survived but there are other documents. available. He served as a Private with the 1/5th Battalion of the Gloucestershire regiment, which was a Territorial battalion formed in April 1908. His service number, 664TF, indicates that he was a very early member of the regiment (number 717, for example, was allocated in September of that year). He will have been called up at or soon after the declaration of war in August 1914. His regiment deployed in March the following year, Thomas with them, landing at Boulogne on 29th of that month. His was a short deployment – he died in action just six weeks later.
Thomas’s elder brother George Henry James also served. He was with the 9th Battalion of the Gloucestershire Regiment, probably a conscript.
From the Medal Index card and Gloucester Regiment Medals Roll:
Awarded the Victory Medal, British War Medal and the 1915 Star,
to France 29/3/15
killed in action
From Soldiers Effects:
1/5/ Gloucs Regt, Private, 664
died 13/5/15 in action
3 pounds 13s 3d plus 3 pounds War Gratuity to mother Eliza Holtom