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John Thomas Patton (1892-1916)

South Shields born fought with Canadian 'Dismounted Horse' presumed killed in action at Thiepval Ridge

Boot repairer Thomas Patton married Helen Jane Niddrie in autumn 1890 in South Shields and on 20th July 1892 their first child, John Thomas, was born. By 1901 Helen had left Thomas and started a new life with Charles Henry William Smith. She had four children with him and still lived in South Shields. Young John Thomas was living with his grandfather and father, both boot repairers by trade and both listed as widowers on the 1901 census return. Ten years later there was just John Thomas, an assistant boot repairer and his father at the same address.

John Thomas arrived in Canada in 1912 aged 19. He applied for a homestead grant of 160 acres in Edmonton, Alberta in March 1916 just before shipping out to England. The grant was approved and it became part of his estate in 1922.

He enlisted as Private 467112 in “B” Company, 63rd Battalion, Canadian Expeditionary Force (CEF) in Edmonton on 30th July 1915. 23 year old John Thomas gave his father in South Shields as his next of kin and his occupation as that of teamster. On 23rd April 1916 the Battalion left Nova Scotia on board the SS Metagama. It arrived in Liverpool on 5th May when the men travelled onwards to camp at Bramshott, Hampshire.

29th June 1916 saw Private Patton posted to the 5th (Western Cavalry) Battalion, 2nd Infantry Brigade, 1st Canadian Division (despite the name this was an infantry battalion, sometimes called the “Dismounted Horse”). He joined them in Abeele, France on 13th July 1916. Injured in his left shoulder at the Chalk Pits on 10th September, after treatment at the 2nd Field Ambulance, he rejoined his battalion at Warloy, then moved on to Courcelette. On 27th September 1916 he was reported missing in action during the attacks on the Zollern and Hessian Trenches in the battle for Thiepval Ridge. In May 1917 he was reported as presumed to have been killed in that action.

John Thomas Patton has no known grave and is commemorated on the Vimy Memorial.

Civil Parish: South Shields

Birth date: 20-Jul-1892

Death date: 02-Sep-1916

Armed force/civilian: Army

Residence: 35 Bertram Street, South Shields (1901 census)
Edmonton, Alberta, Canada (enlistment papers)

Employment: Apprentice shoe repairer (1911 census), Teamster (enlistment papers)

Family: Parents: Thomas Patton, Helen Jane Patton (nee Niddrie)

Military service:

63rd Battalion, Canadian Expeditionary Force
5th (Western Cavalry) Battalion, Canadian Expeditionary Force

Medal(s): British War Medal
Victory Medal

Memorial(s): Vimy Memorial

Gender: Male

Contributed by Jean Longstaff, Durham | Jim Busby, Canada

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