William Tomlinson was born in 1892, the son of Edward and Mary Tomlinson (nee Mary Lewis Hope) of 47 Drury Lane. In 1901 the family lived at Ledsham Houses: Edward Tomlinson 41 coal hewer, Mary 38, Edward 20, John 10, William 8, Margaret 6, Alice 4, Philip Henry 9 months all born Hawarden. In 1911 the family lived at Drury Lane: Edward Tomlinson 51 farm labourer, Mary 48, Edward 29, John 20, William, 18 employed as a coal miner, Philip Henry 10, Arthur 8 all born Hawarden. The census showed that Edward and Mary had 11 children all living at that time.
William’s service record shows that he joined the Territorial Force, 5th Btn. RWF on the 26th September 1911. He was originally assigned the number 906, later changed to 356037. He was 19 years 4 months old and a collier with address Chestnut Cottage. He joined the 25th Btn. RWF and embarked from Southampton on the 25th February 1917, arriving in Alexandria on the 16th of March, joining his unit on 24 March. He was killed in action on 30 November 1917 having then served 6 years 66 days.
The service record shows that William was home from November 1911 to July 1915. He was a member of the Mediterranean Expeditionary Force from 14 July to 22 October 1915 and then again from 25 February 1917 until his death. There is no indication in the Service Record that William went to Gallipoli but he was assigned to the Mediterranean Expeditionary Force and he was awarded the 15 Star indicating he served in a theatre of war before the end of 1915. (This is known from his medal index card whereas his service record does not show the Star. William’s regiment, the 1/5th (Flintshire) Battalion sailed from Devonport on 19 July 1915 for Gallipoli, going via Imbros and disembarking Suvla Bay on 9 August 1915. December 1915 they were evacuated from Gallipoli and moved to Egypt.
William transferred to the 25th (Montgomery & Welsh Horse Yeomanry) Battalion when he went out to Egypt. The Battalion took part in the Battle of Jerusalem from 17 November until 30 December 1917. On 30 November Major J.G. Rees of the 25th Battalion, Royal Welch Fusiliers had only 60 men to hold Beit Ur el Foqa when the post was almost surrounded. They managed to break out of the position and joined the support company of the 10th Battalion, King’s Shropshire Light Infantry. The CWGC website shows that 12 men from the 25th Btn. RWF including William died on 11 November 1917, and are buried at Jerusalem War Cemetery.
William Tomlinson may have been a second cousin of Joseph Tomlinson of Burntwood who was killed in France in 1916.
In 2014 William Tomlinson’s “death penny” and an embroidery that he sent to his mother from Egypt were found in the attic of a house in Knowle Lane, Buckley, along with a photograph that is unlabeled but assumed to be William. These items were brought to the Buckley Society and have been given to William’s family.
William is remembered on a family grave at St. Matthew’s.
In loving memory of
Beloved husband of
Born January 1st 1860
Died April 29th 1922
Also the above
Who died April 16th 1933
Aged 71 years
Son of the above
Who was killed in Palestine
November 30th 1917
Aged 25 years
Son of the above
Who died February 3rd 1952
Aged 71 years