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Thomas Forster (1894-1915)

South Moor bricklayer served in the Royal Marine Light Infantry

This includes information contributed by pupils at the North Durham Academy.

Born on 20 December 1894 in South Moor, Thomas was the youngest child of Alfred and Isabella Forster. Thomas’ mother died in 1896 and Alfred remarried three years later in 1899. His second wife, Rose Galley, also known as Rosie and Rosanna on different records, had also had a previous marriage. At the time of both the 1901 and 1911 census, Thomas was living with Alfred and Rose alongside a number of both siblings and step siblings.

In 1911 Thomas was an apprentice bricklayer. His older brother Harry was also working as a bricklayer at a colliery, alongside their father who was a Foreman Mason.

Thomas enlisted in the Royal Marines on 22 October 1914 in York. He served as part of the Portsmouth Division with the Service Number PO/260 (S), and became part of the Victory Royal Marine Brigade on 4 December 1914. Thomas served in the Dardanelles from 25 April until the time of his death a few weeks later on 6 June. This day was the first day of the Second Battle of Krithia, part of the Battle of Gallipoli.

Thomas is commemorated on the Helles Memorial in Turkey and remembered on two memorials in his home village of South Moor.

Civil Parish: South Moor

Birth date: 20-Dec-1894

Death date: 06-May-1915

Armed force/civilian: Navy

Residence: 49 Elm Street, South Moor (1901 Census)
16 Lime Street, South Moor (1911 Census)

Religion: Church of England

Employment: Apprentice Bricklayer (1911 Census)

Family: Parents: Alfred Crathorne Forster, Isabella Forster
Step-mother: Rose Forster
Siblings: Harry Forster, Eva Forster, Lilian Forster
Step-siblings: Emily Galley, Mary Galley, Edith Galley, Ellen Forster, Alf Forster, William Forster

Military service:

Royal Marine Light Infantry
Portsmouth Division
Service Number PO/260 (S)

Medal(s): British War Medal
Victory Medal
1914-15 Star

Memorial(s): Helles Memorial, Turkey
Memorial Park 1914-18 1939-45 Korea 1951, South Moor
Crucifix and Plaques 1914-18 St. George’s Church, South Moor

Gender: Male

Contributed by Jack, Corbin, Matthew and Layla | Fiona Johnson

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