Poppy In memoriam Poppy

Private Thomas James Thompson


Thomas James Thompson was born on 27 February 1894 at Coolbuck, Lisbellaw, County Fermanagh, the first of eight children of farmer James Thompson and his wife Ellen (nee Clegg). By the time of the 1911 Census he was living at Coolbuck with his widowed mother and six surviving siblings and working as a farm labourer.

Thompson enlisted in the North Irish Horse on 30 July 1912 (No.722). He embarked for France with A Squadron on 17 August 1914, seeing action on the retreat from Mons and advance to the Aisne.

In 1915 or 1916 Thompson fell ill. Evacuated to the UK, he was diagnosed as having contracted pulmonary tuberculosis. On 7 May 1917 he was discharged, being no longer physically fit for war service (paragraph 392 xvi, King's Regulations).

Thompson was granted a disability pension and returned home to Coolbuck. The illness prevailed, however, and he died on 22 August 1920.

At the time, Thompson was not officially identified as a casualty of the war. Following my identification of his case, a submission was made to the Commonwealth War Graves Commission through the In From the Cold Project, proposing that he be included on its roll of honour. The Commission agreed on 29 October 2022. Pending identification of his place of burial, Thompson is now commemorated in the United Kingdom Book of Remembrance.

There is a good chance that this man is the T.J. Thompson shown in this image, of the Lisbellaw Church of Ireland's Roll of Honour. (Image provided by Nigel Henderson, researcher at History Hub Ulster.)