An Old Coathamian – Not Forgotten

Francis Edmond THOMAS

No. 388509 Private, 2nd (Northumberland) Field Ambulance
and 81st Field Ambulance, Royal Army Medical Corps.

Born 15 October 1878,
Died 10 July 1917, aged 38 years.

Buried in Mikra British Cemetery, Kalamaria,
Greece, Grave 1766.

He was the younger of two Old Coathamian brothers both killed on active service: see also Harold Morris Thomas.

Commonwealth forces, as well as French, Italian and Russian, were stationed in Greece to counter the threat from Germany’s ally Turkey. There were several military hospitals in and around Kalamaria.

Francis Edmond Thomas was the son of William Roach Thomas and Amy Thomas. Both he and his elder brother Harold Morris Thomas, their parents’ only children, followed their father into the banking profession, and both attended Coatham Grammar School as fee-paying day boys. The 1881 Census records his name as Edmond Francis, but later Census and Army records call him Francis Edmond. Francis was one month short of his ninth birthday when he started school in September 1887, and he remained for 22 terms until December 1894, when he was 16. By 1901 Francis was a bank clerk, lodging in Bishop Auckland. In July 1906, then aged 27, he married Margaret Peacock, aged 22, from Sunderland, and in 1907 they had a son, Philip Roach Thomas. By 1911 Francis had become a bank cashier. His family’s address when news came of his death in July 1917 was 10, Ladysmith Street, Bishop Auckland. By that time, both his parents had died, as had his elder brother Harold.