An Old Coathamian – Not Forgotten

Harold Morris THOMAS

Second Lieutenant, 1/4th Battalion,
Alexandra, Princess of Wales’s Own (Yorkshire Regiment)
[later called The Green Howards].

Born 26 January 1876,
Died 10 November 1916, aged 40 years.

Commemorated in Warlencourt British Cemetery,
Pas de Calais, France, at Hexham Road Cemetery
Memorial 12.

He was the elder of two Old Coathamian brothers both killed on active service: see also Francis Edmond Thomas.

The Warlencourt Cemetery contains a memorial plaque to 15 soldiers, including Second Lieutenant Thomas, who had been buried in a nearby cemetery called Hexham Road and whose graves there had been destroyed by later shellfire.

Harold Morris Thomas was the son of William Roach Thomas and Amy Thomas. Both he and his younger brother Francis Edmond Thomas, their parents’ only children, followed their father into the banking profession. Both attended Coatham Grammar School as fee-paying day boys, both starting at the same time in September 1887. Harold was then aged 11 and he remained at school until July 1892, when he was 16. He became a bank clerk, his first job being in Yarm. In 1904 he married Elizabeth Fothergill from Middlesbrough, the daughter of a tobacco manufacturer. They had four children: Eric, Dorothea, Kathleen and William. By 1911 they had moved to Bedale, where Harold was a bank accountant. Harold’s mother died in 1913. His father, then a bank manager in Sunderland, remarried soon afterwards, although he died in June 1917, seven months after Harold’s own death. Harold’s brother, Francis, died a month later. Harold’s wife Elizabeth and their children were living at 20, Lorne Terrace, Stockton-on-Tees, at the time of his death.