Fisher, Thomas Henry

Name of Researcher / Enw’r ymchwylydd: Mavis Williams

Name of Memorial / Enw’r gofeb: Connahs Quay

Name / Enw: Fisher, Thomas Henry

Regiment/Catrawd: 24th (Denbighshire Yeomanry) Bn Royal Welsh Fusiliers ( formerly Denbighshire Yeomanry)

Service Rank and Number / Rheng gwasanaeth a rhif: Private 345691 (formerly 44034)

Military Cemetery/Memorial / Fynwent milwrol: Jerusalem War Cemetery

Ref No Grave or Memorial / Rhif cyfeirnod bedd: E 32

Country of Cemetery or Memorial / Gwlad y fynwent neu gofeb: Israel

Medals Awarded / Medalau a ddyfarnwyd: Victory and British War medals

Date of Death: 27th December 1917

Date and Circumstances of Death / Dyddiad ac amgylchiadau marwolaeth:

Killed in Action 27 December 1917

Thomas first appears on a census in 1891. He was living with his family at 51 Union Street Court 1, Tipton West Bromwich. The family at that time comprised of head and father  also  named Thomas Fisher aged 43, a Puddler in the iron works. His wife was Eliza 42. Their children were Eliza 15, Thomas H 9 and Annie 2.

The next census of 1901 finds the family still living in the Midlands at 36 William Street, West Bromwich. Apart from all being 10 years older the family was much the same. Thomas was still a puddler now aged 53, Eliza was 52,  Daughter Eliza who would have been 25 was no longer at home. Thomas Henry was 19  and was an iron galvaniser and Annie was 12

By the 1911 census, Thomas Henry was a 29 year old married man living at 49 Farley Street West Bromwich with his wife of 7 years, Betsy. They had one child who was 4 years old and was named after his father – Thomas H.

At some point in the next four years the family moved to Shotton presumably for Thomas to take up his work as a galvaniser at John Summers iron works. There is a card for him in the Flintshire Roll of Honour at the County Archive Office in Hawarden which gives the regimental details as above and the address 5 Health Street Shotton. It says he served for 2 years and that he was killed in action in Palestine. The card was signed by Thomas Fisher – probably his father.

Thomas’s army service records survive and are available on www.ancestry.co.uk .  They tell us that he Attested on the 12th December 1915 when he was 34 years old at Shotton. It includes details of his marriage to Betsy Matthews on 3rd May 1903. The records name his children and we see that Thomas Henry born 28th December 1906  had a little brother Walter born on 18th January 1915.

His records show that he was assigned to the Army Reserve until 4th July 1916 when he was mobilised and joined the 5th Bn of the RWF  on the 6th July 1916 and joined the Expeditionary force in Egypt in March 1917. A casualty form records that he had a spell in hospital suffering from dysentry in April that same year.  The same form reports that he was killed in action 27th December 1917.There is correspondence from the army to Betsy regarding her receiving the Memorial Scroll and king’s message.

Thomas Henry Fisher in the UK, Army Registers of Soldiers’ Effects, 1901-1929 tells us that the sole Legatee was his widow Betsy who was paid £6. 19s 1d on the 7th June 1918 and his War Gratuity of £6.0s 0d on the 11th November 1919.

Thomas Henry Fisher is also remembered on the Tipton War Memorial, thanks to Andy Johnson on the “Great War Forum: 1914-1918.invisionzone.com“, who is researching the men on that memorial and tells me that there are other men who enlisted in Shotton, but were born in Staffordshire, Tipton area in particular.   Frederck Hotchkiss, being 1 of them, please click on the link to read his story.

Andy also gave other information regarding Thomas Henry and other comrades of the 24th RWF:-

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Hello again Mavis
I’ve looked at the entry for T H Fisher, and you have most detail about him already.
The only thing extra I have is about the action: For most of 1917 the Turkish defensive line stretched from Beersheba to Gaza on the coast after their retreat across the Sinai Peninsula from the Suez defeats. The Gaza-Beersheba line was breeched in October 1917 at the 3rd Battle of Gaza. The Turks were followed in their retreat, and Jerusalem was captured on 9th December 1917. Skirmishing continued throughout December as the Turks continued to retreat eastwards. Thomas Fisher was killed in action on 27th December during an attack by the 24th RWF on Hill 2450 at Kled Dreihemeh. Twenty nine men from the 24th RWF were killed on 27th December, two more dying from their wounds before the end of the year. Thomas was buried on the 29th December 1917, and later reburied at Jerusalem War Cemetery. I have a photo of his grave, not brilliant but I can’t complain as someone else took it for me, I can’t imagine visiting Jerusalem. Andy
Fisher TH Gravestone - Jerusalem
Many thanks to Andy and the unknown photographer.