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Thomas Henry Mason (1895-1918)

Darlington man served in the 18th DLI

Born in 1895, Thomas Henry Mason was one of 12 children born to Joseph and Rachel Mason. Three of these children did not survive childhood. Thomas’ father Joseph worked on the railway, both as a guard and a railway shunter. Thomas grew up in Darlington and after leaving school worked as a pawnbroker’s assistant.

Thomas enlisted on 9 October 1915, joining the 21st Battalion Durham Light Infantry (DLI) with the service number 21/104. On his arrival in France on 13 May the following year, Thomas was posted to 18th DLI to serve as a private. Only a fortnight later he was admitted to a general hospital in Camiers suffering with scabies. He rejoined his unit in the field on 23 June.

Over the next year Thomas was admitted to the 94th Field Ambulance on three different occasions suffering from frostbite, myalgia and jaundice. Having rejoined the 18th Battalion on 27 October 1917 following treatment for jaundice, Thomas served for a further five months before being killed in action on 12 April 1918.

Thomas is remembered on the Ploegsteert Memorial in Belgium. He is also remembered in his home town of Darlington where his family were still living at the time of his death. His British War Medal and Victory Medal were sent to his parents.

Thomas’ older brother Joseph enlisted a few months before Thomas, serving with the navy as a cook.

Civil Parish: Darlington

Birth date: 1895

Death date: 12-Apr-1918

Armed force/civilian: Army

Residence: 12 China Street, Darlington (1901 Census)
40 Henry Street, Darlington (1911 Census)

Religion: Wesleyan Methodist

Employment: Pawnbroker’s assistant (1911 Census)

Family: Parents: Joseph Mason, Rachel Mason nee Gale
Siblings: Joseph Mason, Albert Mason, Annie Mason, Evelyn Mason, Florence Mason, Eunice Mason, Clarence Mason, Olive Mason, Horace Mason

Military service:

21st, 18th Battalions DLI
Service Number 21/104

Medal(s): British War Medal
Victory Medal

Memorial(s): War Memorials Hospital 1914-18, Darlington
Plaque 1914-18, North Road Wesleyan Church, Darlington
Book of Remembrance 1914-18, North Road Wesleyan Church, Darlington
Book of Remembrance 1914-18 DLI, Durham Cathedral

Gender: Male

Contributed by Steven Fraser- Durham at War Intern

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