The Thomson family group to brothers, the first a Great War Memorial Plaque named to Douglas Gordon Thomson, a 2nd Lieutenant with the 10th Service Battalion, Rifle Brigade, who originally came from Perth, Scotland, but then lived in Sydney, Australia, as well as in the Pacific on the Island of Fiji. During the Great War he originally saw service as a Rifleman with the King’s Royal Rifle Corps, and was present out on the Western Front from 2nd April 1915, before being commissioned as a 2nd Lieutenant into the 10th Rifle Brigade. Thomson was mortally wounded by a bullet in the groin when the German’s mounted their counter-attack at Cambrai on 30th November 1917, and having been carried back in the face of the advancing German’s, when his company made a stand in some trenches, his whereabouts then became unknown, he presumably having died in the trench, and his body was never found. He was posthumously awarded the Military Cross in February 1918. Together with the medals to his brother, Extra Regimental 2nd Corporal W.A. Thomson, 2nd Australian Infantry Battalion, Australian Imperial Force, who was wounded in action after only two days at Gallipoli on 8th August with a gunshot wound to the knee and evacuated to Egypt. After service in both France and London with the Australian Army Postal Corps, he went on the run and after handing himself in spent 50 days on detention at Lewes Detention Barracks from July 1918, before returning to the Western Front with his old 2nd Battalion from September 1918 onwards.
Great War Memorial Plaque named to; (DOUGLAS GORDON THOMSON), together with the Buckingham Palace forwarding letter.
Condition: Good Very Fine.
Together with a condolence letter concerning the death of Second Lieutenant D.G. Thomson sent from Buckingham Palace, issued to the recipient’s brother, W.A. Thomson Esq, this being Extra Regimental 2nd Corporal W.A. Thomson, 2nd Australian Infantry Battalion, Australian Imperial Force, whose medals are detailed below, dated 28th February 1919.
Douglas Gordon Thomson is known to have lived in Perth, Scotland, before emigrated to Australia, where he lived at Glen Elm, Coogee, Sydney, New South Wales, and also in the Pacific at Rewa, Suva, on the island of Fiji.
Thomson originally saw service during the Great War a s a Rifleman (No.10185) with the King’s Royal Rifle Corps, and was present out on the Western Front from 2nd April 1915, before being commissioned, and was serving as a temporary 2nd Lieutenant with the 10th Service Battalion, Rifle Brigade, when he died of wounds during the Battle of Cambrai on 30th November 1917.
A Rifleman C. Willmott of ‘D’ Company in his report made to the Australian Red Cross, recorded that ‘on the morning of the 30th November: the Germans attacked at Cambrai. We were put back after severe fighting, I was in our trench close to Mr Thomson and I saw him lying in the trench wounded. I asked him where he was hit and he point to a bullet hole in his groin. 2/Lieut. Scott of the 10th Bn. D. Co. helped me to carry him back a short way. Our Company made a stand so we put him down in the trench. I was then wounded and went on to the Dressing Station. I know Mr Scott came through all right; I have had a letter from him written from the front just before Xmas. Mr Scott came from Machester - was his batman.’ This report was made in London on 2nd June 1918.
Nothing further had been heard of Thomson however he had been posthumously awarded the Military Cross, the award being published in the London Gazette for 4th February 1918, no citation however has been found. Having no known grave, he is commemorated by name on the Cambrai Memorial.
The 1914-1915 Star and British War Medal pair to Private later Extra Regimental 2nd Corporal W.A. Thomson, 2nd Australian Infantry Battalion, Australian Imperial Force, the younger brother of the above, who saw service with the 2nd Battalion at Gallipoli from 6th August 1915, but was wounded in action only two days later on 8th August with a gunshot wound to the knee and evacuated to Egypt. Whilst on detached duty during his recovery he ended up on employment with the Australian Postal Corps, being present in England, he then went to the Western Front and was stationed at Rouen followed by Etaples between September 1916 and February 1917. Back in London working with the Australian Base Post Office. From 5th May to 3rd June 1918 he went on the run, and on having handed himself in, was then sentenced to 60 days detention in Lewes Detention Barracks. After 50 days of this his sentence was remitted and he was then sent back out to the Western Front for service with the 2nd Australian Infantry Battalion.
1914-1915 Star; (2216 PTE. W.A. THOMSON. 2/BN. A.I.F.); British War Medal; (2216 ER-2-CPL. W.A. THOMSON. 2 BN. A.I.F.)
Condition: Good Very Fine.
William Alan Thomson was born inCupar, Fife, Scotland, though he then worked as a trader and went to Australia. With the outbreak of the Great War, he attested for service with the Australian Imperial Force on 27th April 1915 at Newcastle, New South Wales, as a Private (No.2216) with the 2nd Australian Infantry Battalion, and joined the 6th Reinforcements for his battalion. Thomas joined his battalion on active service at Gallipoli from 6th August 1915, but was wounded in action only two days later on 8th August with a gunshot wound to the knee, and evacuated aboard the hospital ship Della to Alexandria where he disembarked on 11th April 1915.
Admitted to the 1st Australian General Hospital at Heliopolis on 12th August 1915, he was then transferred to the 4th Auxiliary Hospital on 14th August, and on his partial recovered, was then attached for duty back with the 1st Australian General Hospital at Cairo from 17th September 1915. Detached for duty with the 3rd Auxiliary Hospital at Cairo from 29th March 1916, he then travelled to England.
On 2nd September 1916 he arrived on the Western Front when posted to Rouen for service attached to the Australian Postal Corps. On 13th December he was detached for duty with the base post office at Staples, but then transferred to England for duty with the Australian Base Post Office at London from 25th February 1917. During this period he was a number of times punished for being absent without leave, this being only for a few hours of disappearance, however on 5th May 1918 he disappeared from duty and was only apprehended by the Australian Provost Corps on 2nd June 1918 after he handed himself in.
Whilst in hospital with flu at the 2nd Auxiliary Hospital in Southall, he was tried by District Court Martial, the charge being ‘absent without leave from 5-5-18 until he surrendered himself to the Military Authorities in London 3-6-18’. Having pleaded guilty, he was sentenced to 60 days detention, and fined 97 days pay.
At the time of his Court Martial he appears to have been still in hospital getting over the bout of flu, and on his recovery he was handed over the Army Provost Marshal on 13th July 1918, being then incarcerated in Lewes Detention Barracks. After 50 days detention his sentence was remitted, and he then proceeded back out to the Western Front and arrived a Le Havre on 16th September 1918, and then joined the 2nd Australian Infantry Battalion in the field on 17th September 1918, he being officially transferred from the Australian Army Postal Corps. On 16th October 1918 he was posted to the School of Instruction in France, but rejoined his battalion only three days later, and served out the rest of the war.
From 13th December 1918 he was on service with the AIF Headquarters in London, being promoted to temporary 2nd Corporal on 6th March 1919, and then to Extra Regimental 2nd Corporal on the same date, before being demobilised in London on 9th October 1919.