24595 PTE. T. G. BALDWIN.  S.W.B.

 

Thomas Gregory Baldwin was born in Brindle in the second quarter of 1887.  His father was John Baldwin (b. 1853 in Walton Le Dale), a cotton weaver.  His mother was Elizabeth Crook (b. 1853 in Brindle).  John and Elizabeth were married in 1873 and they had 13 children, although six of their children died in infancy.  They lived at Albany Terrace, Watkin Lane, Lostock Hall.  The seven children who survived were Alice (b. 1873), Margaret (b. 1876), Anne (b. 1877), George (b. 1880), then Thomas Gregory, then his two younger brothers John W. (b. 1890) and Joseph Bede (b. 1894).

 

Although most of his family were cotton mill workers, Thomas was a labourer in the Leyland rubber works.  Thomas married Margaret Barker in 1908 and they had three children, John (b. 1909 and who died within a few months), James (b. 1910) and Alice (b. 1914).  The family lived at 12 Spring Gardens, Leyland.

 

According to his military records, Tom initially served with the Royal Field Artillery & Royal Horse Artillery, with service number 66825, however he was soon transferred to the South Wales Borderers, assigned a new service number 24595 and posted initially to 2nd Battalion.  2Bn had landed at Cape Helles, on the Gallipoli Peninsula, at the start of the campaign on 25 April 1915, but Tom arrived with other reinforcements on 21 July 1915.  The article tells us that he was evacuated from the peninsula suffering from dysentery and that after recovery he was sent to France, where he joined 11th Battalion which landed in France on 4 December 1915.  11th Battalion came under orders of 115th Brigade in 38th (Welsh) Division.  During the Battle of the Somme, 38th Division was used to assault and clear Mametz Wood (7-14 July 1916) where it suffered such severe casualties that it was unable to return to major action for more than a year.

 

In 1917, 38th Division took part in the successful attack at Pilkem Ridge on 31 July which marked the beginning of what would become known as the Third Battle of Ypres.  92 officers and men from 11Bn lost their lives in the opening days of the battle, 31 July-3 August.  Tom Baldwin was wounded in action and died on 6 August 1917 at a Casualty Clearing Station at Mendinghem.  He was 30 years old and left a wife and two young children.

 

Rank:  Private

Service No:  24595

Date of Death:  06/08/1917

Age:  30

Regiment/Service:  South Wales Borderers, 11th Bn.

Grave Reference:  IV. A. 28.

Cemetery:  MENDINGHEM MILITARY CEMETERY

Additional Information:  Son of John and Elizabeth Baldwin; husband of Margaret Baldwin, of 12 Spring Gardens, Bradshaw Street, Leyland, Preston.

 

Tom’s brother Joseph Bede served with the Royal Army Medical Corps.  He was 77461. PTE. J. B. BALDWIN. R.A.M.C.  The other brother who served was John W. but I don’t know in which regiment.

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