Lieutenant and Quartermaster Thomas Henry Waldren, MC LSGC

 

 

Thomas Henry Waldren was born on 12 February 1876 in Twyford, Hampshire, the first of at least five children of gardener Thomas Waldren and his wife Frances Jane.

He enlisted in the 6th Inniskilling Dragoons at Brighton on 16 November 1892 (No.3254), serving for 21 years before being discharged to a pension. By then he had risen to the rank of sergeant and served in the Boer War, and in Egypt and India. It had not all been smooth sailing. In May 1899 he had faced a court martial for “Conduct to the prejudice of good order and military discipline.” He had been reduced to the ranks and forfeited his Good Conduct badge.

On 14 February 1914 he married Amy Ward at St Mary's, Hendon, London. Their first child, John Dashwood, was born on 30 December that year, and their next, Amy, on 20 November 1916.

Soon after the outbreak of war Waldren re-enlisted in the 6th (Inniskilling) Dragoons Service Squadron on 10 October 1914 (No.52), at Enniskillen, aged 39 years. He was immediately promoted to squadron sergeant major.

Waldren arrived in France on 6 October 1915 with the squadron, which was then serving as divisional cavalry to the 36th (Ulster) Division. The squadron became part of the newly-formed 2nd North Irish Horse Regiment in June 1916. Waldren was appointed acting regimental sergeant-major on 13 October 1916.

In September 1917 he was transferred to the 9th Battalion, Royal Irish Fusiliers (No.41070) when the regiment was dismounted and absorbed into that battalion. However on 26 November he transferred to the 10th (Service) Battalion, Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers, with the rank of company sergeant major (No.42666). Later, while acting as regimental sergeant major, he was awarded a Military Cross. Waldren returned to the battalion depot at Dublin on 30 May 1918.

On 1 July Waldren was commissioned as lieutenant and quartermaster and placed on the General List of officers. He was awarded a Long Service and Good Conduct Medal in April 1919, and relinquished his commission on 21 February 1920.

Waldren later became an inspector with the National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children. He died in Kent in 1976.

 

Prince Albert decorates NSPCC inspectors - RSM Thomas Henry Waldren, MC (Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers)   early 1920s

 

The first image, part of a group photo of officers and NCOs of the squadron, appeared in the Belfast Evening Telegraph of 28 January 1915. The full image can be seen here.