10126 PTE. T. SANDERSON. SCOTS GDS.
Thomas Sanderson was born in the second quarter of 1895 in Farington. His parents were Thomas Sanderson b. 1861 at Staveley, near Kendal, in Westmorland, and Rachel Mary Sanderson (Sanderson was also her maiden name), b. 1859 in Kendal. Rachel’s family moved to Preston in the 1860s, and Tom’s in the 1870s as they married in Preston in 1880. They had 10 children all of whom survived infancy: Elizabeth Ellen (b. 1880), Arthur William (b. 1881), John James (b. 1883), Margaret (b. 1886), Robert Stubbs (b. 1891), Ernest Cedric (b. 1892), then Thomas, Norman (b. 1897), Annie (b. 1900), and Rupert (b. 1903).
Tom (Snr) worked for the railway and by 1911 was a railway engine driver, the family living at 64 Black Lane (now Brownedge Road), Lostock Hall, and Tom (Jnr.) was working as a clerk at the Lancashire and Yorkshire Railway goods depot.
Tom enlisted with the Scots Guards at the outbreak of War (7 men on the Lostock Hall Memorial were Guardsmen, so it seems to have been a popular regiment). He was assigned service number 10126 and he landed with his Battalion in France on 14 January 1915. The newspaper article published after his death tells us that he was wounded in action twice, coincidentally on the same date, 25 September, in 1915 and 1916. The dates may not entirely coincide though. The Scots Guards War Diary tells us that on 25 September 1915, the Battalion was on the march from Ecquedecques to Vermelles, north of Arras and was not engaged in any fighting, however the Battalion was preparing to join the Battle of Loos, which had opened on 25 September although Tom’s Battalion did not join the fighting until the 27th. During the three days that 2 Scots Guards were engaged in the fighting, the Battalion had 1 officer and 17 other ranks killed and 112 other ranks wounded. Overall, the British suffered nearly 60,000 casualties in this battle, of whom more than 20,000 died. A year later, on 25 September 1916, the Scots Guards were fighting at Ginchy, during the Battle of the Somme, during the attack where Tom was wounded near Lesboeufs “2Bn Scots Guards advancing close under the barrage carried their final objective”.
As the Battle of the Somme concluded, 2 Scots Guards were at Bronfay, near Albert. It’s not clear when Tom received the wounds from which he would die, but on 19/20 December the Battalion was in the lines. It was cold and frosty and had snowed, the British artillery had opened a barrage of German lines and the Germans retaliated with 6” shells on our trenches. It snowed again that night and the following morning, and the Germans shelled the British trenches again in the evening. From 17-20 December 1916, 2 Scots Guards lost just 4 men, the other three are buried at Flers whereas Tom is buried at Guillemont, the village that claimed so many lives when it was taken by the British and which would be lost again to the Germans in March 1918. Tom was 21 years old.
His effects of £8 10s 1d and a War Gratuity of £10 were paid to his mother.
Service No: 10126
Date of Death: 20/12/1916
Regiment/Service: Scots Guards, 2nd Bn.
Grave Reference: I. H. 2.
Cemetery: GUILLEMONT ROAD CEMETERY, GUILLEMONT
Tom's brothers, Norman and Robert, also fought in the War.
Norman served in the East Lancashire Regiment before being transferred to the Loyal North Lancashire Regiment and was taken prisoner right at the end of the War. He got home and married Maggie Wignall in 1920. I don't know when he died but he was still living in Bamber Bridge in 1939.
Robert was a Sergeant and served in East Africa with the King's African Rifles. Robert went back to Bamber Bridge after the War. He didn't marry and went back to live with his parents. He died in 1955