Antrobus, Thomas

Thomas was the son of Samuel and Hannah Antrobus (nee Rowlands) of Ewloe Place, born in Buckley in 1896. In 1911 Thomas 14 and his father Samuel, 40, were both working at a brickworks. Brothers and sisters were Hannah, Eliza, Joseph, Eleanor, Hilda, Charles. Thomas was 21 when he died less than two months before the Armistice. Thomas was remembered on a plaque in St. John’s Congregational Church.

From a family story from Paul Antrobus, great nephew of Thomas, Thomas Antrobus was drafted from one of the brickworks in Lane End. The Military visited to recruit a certain number of men and he was “released” by the manager and joined the Royal Welch Fusiliers.

The 16th Battalion, Royal Welsh Fusiliers was raised in Llandudno on 2 November 1914 from volunteers by the Welsh National Executive Committee. The battalion landed in France in December 1915, eventually becoming a component of the 38th (Welsh) Division. Thomas’s Royal Welsh Fusilier number 87139 was within a sequence issued in April 1918, which included 18 year old conscripts born in 1899 and older men, who were conscripted in 1916, but were deferred. There were many reasons why a temporary referral to enlist was given by local tribunals; for example if the mans’ employer appealed that his presence at work was vital to their business until a replacement could be found and trained, or that his family could not manage without him until his wife, or aged parents/mother, could find alternative arrangements.

In April 1918, the 38th Division (including the 16th RWF Battalion) were in reserve, but on 23 August the division was released to V Corps, Third Army, for the offensive known as The Advance to Victory. The offensive was a success and this led to the Battles of the Hindenburg Line from the 12th of September, which included the subsidiary engagement known as the Battle of Epehy on the 18 September 1918, in which Thomas was killed.

Learn more about the other soldiers on the Buckley Memorial

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