Thomas Wilson

Lance Corporal

Sherwood Foresters (Notts & Derbys Regiment) 3394 2/6th Battalion
Machine Gun Corps 53256 122 Coy

Derbyshire Times and Chesterfield Herald 6 October 1917

Thomas Wilson in WW1

Thomas Wilson worked at Lea Mills, he was certainly there in 1911, but does not appear in the Parcels Book or other Lea Mills records for the war-time, even though he is recorded as a Lea Mills employee in some war-time records. It seems, between 1911 and 1914, that he left Lea Mills and went to work as a "boot-boy" at Smedley's Hydro in Matlock. Some records have this the other way round – that he moved from the Hydro to Lea Mills; this is incorrect.
Although he was not employed at the Mill when he enlisted (he had recently left and was at Smedley's Hydro) he is included in these records as several sources considered him a Lea Mills worker.

Both his father, Thomas, and brother, George Frederick, also served in the forces during WW1.

Medal Roll Index
He was awarded the Victory and British War Medals.

Army Service Record
He attested at Matlock on 23 October 1914 aged 18 years and 1 month. height 5ft 6in and weight 127lb. He was a Congregationalist (later changed to C of E). His next of kin was his father, Thomas Wilson, of Limetree Road, Matlock. He had grey eyes and brown hair and was recorded as having a trade of "boots". Mother Mary Ellen Wilson, brothers George Frederick Wilson (25) and Victor Wilson (9); sisters Edith Wilson (22) and Mary Ellen Wilson (12). There was an alottment of pay of 7s 7d to his mother.
23/10/14 Attested
18/06/16 to 24/06/16 in the 3rd Ambulance Isolation, at Curragh with scabies
15/08/16 Discharged from 2/6 Notts & Derby on re-enlistment to M.G. Corp. Discharged from Curragh Camp
13/09/16 BEF France
06/07/17 Appointed Lce Corpl
21/09/17 Killed in Action as L/Cpl

Newspaper Report

Derby Daily Telegraph 26 October 1917
53256 Lance- Corporal T. Wilson MGC (Matlock)

Derbyshire Times and Chesterfield Herald 6 October 1917
Thomas Wilson in WW1Private Thomas (Tommy) Wilson , Machine Gun Corps, son of Mrs Thomas Wilson, Lime Grove Road, Matlock, is reported to have been killed in action. His close chum Lance Corpl F Hobbs writes as follows:- "I have to break some very sad news to you with regard to your son, and will let you know at once that he was killed yesterday in action. He was taken without any pain or suffering". Private Wilson who had just reached the age of 20. joined the colours three years ago and had been in France 15 months. He was an employee of Lea Mills. Both his father and brother are with the Colours in France.

Matlock and the Great War 1914–1919 by Keith Taylor
[Country Books ISBN 978-1-906789-38-1]

Thomas Wison photo from  Keith TaylorLime Tree Hill, Matlock Bank, was the home of 25 year old Thomas Wilson senior, a grocer’s carter, in 1901. With him was his wife, Mary Ellen, a native of Crich, and their children,
George, (4), Thomas (3) and Edith (2), all born at Matlock. After leaving school, Thomas Wilson junior worked at Smedley’s Hydro as a “Boots”, looking after the shoes and boots of the Hydro guests. He then began work at Lea Bridge, in Smedley’s Hosiery Factory, where he was a press hand.
At Matlock, on 23rd October 1914, aged 18, Thomas Wilson enlisted and spent the period up to 15th August 1916 in Britain with the Sherwood Foresters. He was at the Curragh, in Ireland, when he transferred to the Machine Gun Corps on the 15th August, embarking for the Western Front with the 122nd Company on 13th September 1916. The Machine Gun Corps gained a grim title of “The Suicide Club” because they were targeted by enemy artillery.
122nd Company were involved in the offensive launched on 20th September in the Ypres Salient and Thomas’s gun team received a hit during enemy shelling the following day, resulting in his death. He has no known grave and his name is inscribed on Panel 154 to 159 and 163A Tyne Cot Memorial. Both his father, Thomas, and brother, George, were serving in the Army on the Western Front.

Reproduced with permission © Keith Taylor

Commonwealth War Graves Commission

Surname Wilson
Forename Thomas
Nationality United Kingdom
Rank Lance Corporal
Regiment/Service Machine Gun Corps (Infantry
Unit 122nd Coy
Date of Death 21/09/17 aged 20
Additional Information Son of Thomas and Mary Ellen Wilson, of Lime Tree Rd., Matlock Bank, Matlock
Casualty type Commonwealth War Dead
Grave/Memorial Reference Panel 154 to 159 and 163A


War graves certificate for Thomas Wilson

Matlock War Memorial

Matlock War Memorial

Matlock War Memorial

Matlock War Memorial, side face
T. Wilson

WILSON, Thomas[1]
Born Matlock 1897
KiA 21 Sep 1917, aged 20
Lance Corporal 122nd Coy. Machine Gun Corps (Infantry)
Service No: 53256
ToW: F & F
s/o Thomas and Mary Ellen Wilson, of Lime Tree Rd., Matlock Bank, Matlock. Thomas snr was a porter working for the Midland Railway. The family were on Lime Tree Hill in the 1901 census. Thomas jnr worked for Smedleys Hosiery Works Ltd as a presshand (assistant), though when he joined up he gave his occupation as "Boots".
Enlisted Matlock 23 Oct 1914 (this from Burnt Documents, WO 363 and 364).
Memorial: Tyne Cot Memorial, is NE of Ieper and one of four Memorials to the missing in Belgian Flanders
Memorial Reference: Panel 154 to 159 and 163A.

memorial [laque in St Giles Matlock

T Wilson
Plaque in St Giles Church, Starkholmes


1901: Limetree Road Matlock

Forename Surname Relationship Age Occupation Where born
Thomas Wilson Head 25 Grocers carter Matlock
Mary Ellen Wilson wife 23   Crich
George F Wilson son 4   Crich
Thomas Wilson son 3   Matlock
Edith Wilson daughter 2   Matlock

RG13 piece 3267 folio 13 page 18

1911: Cooperative Terrace Holloway

Forename Surname Relationship Age Occupation Where born
Thomas Wilson Head 35 Outdoor porter, Midland Railway Matlock
Mary Ellen Wilson wife 33   Crich
George Frederick Wilson son 14 Greengrocer's assistant Crich
Thomas Wilson son 13 Assistant presshand Smedley hosiery Matlock
Edith Wilson daughter 13 School Matlock
Wiliam Wilson son 1   Matlock
Ernest Wilson son 4   Matlock
Mary Ellen Wilson daughter 2   Matlock

RG14PN21208 RG78PN1262 RD439 SD2 ED10 SN158