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Peter Thomson

Updated: Apr 1, 2023


148079 Private

34th Battalion Machine Gun Corps (Infantry), 34th Division

Age: 23

Date of Death: 10.4.18

Buried: (Royal) Berkshire Corner Cemetery Extension Panel 11

Family history: Son of Henry and Mary Thomson, 2 Shiphaugh Place, Stirling. At the time of his death the family were living at 107 Castle Loan, Bo’ness. He lived with his parents and three sisters, Lizzie, Agnes and Thomasina.


He originally enlisted in the 5th Battalion Royal Scots and saw action at Gallipoli and was evacuated to Malta, suffering from influenza, in October 1915.


Bizarre Accident

On 19 November 1916, he was wounded in a bizarre accident near the Serre Road on the Somme. Peter was part of a group who had lit a fire when an explosion ocurred killing two and wounding Peter and several others. The subsequent enquiry concluded that discarded grenades buried where they had lit the fire had exploded. On recovering from his wounds he was transferred to the Machine Gun Corps joining the 34th Battalion.

The action leading to his death

The Battalion became involved in what was to be termed the Battle of the Lys or as the Germans called their offensive Operation Georgette. On the night of the 9/10 April the battalion was on the south side of the River Lys. At about 7am two attacks in great strength were launched by the Germans, northwards from Fleurbaix and east wards from Fort Rompu, the result being that the composite line held by the Royal Scots and the Suffolks was attacked on both fronts of the right angled bend in the line south-west or west of Fort Rompu and here, by sheer weight of numbers the Germans penetrated the line north of Fleurbaix. It is here that most of those shown as ’Missing’ were killed. They are listed on the (Royal) Berkshire Corner Cemetery Extension.

(Linesman Map. Modern map showing the area of the action)


Medals

1915 Star, The British War Medal, Victory Medal

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