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Thompson, J.E., Pte., 1915
On the Loos Memorial, Pas de Calais, France, is the name of 15906 Private Joseph Eggleston Thompson, serving with the 8th Battalion Somerset Light Infantry who died 25/09/1915.

Pauline Priano has submitted the following:-

Joseph Eggleston Thompson, was one of 11 children, 5 sons, 4 daughters and 2 gender unknown, of whom only 7 survived, the son of James Thompson born 1853 at Sedgefield and Sarah Eggleston of Coundon born 1856, both in County Durham. His parents were married in 1874, district of Bishop Auckland, County Durham. Their daughter Mary Ann was born in 1875 at Sedgefield, son Joseph at Satley, September 22nd 1876, Margaret Rose 1879 at Leamside and John William in 1881 whilst they were living at Bradbury Village where James was employed as an agricultural labourer. Over the next ten years Sarah gave birth to a further 4 children, Martha Eleanor 1883 and Joseph Eggleston 1885 at Satley, James 1887 and Susanna, August 23rd 1889 at Lanchester. Still supporting his family as an agricultural labourer they were now living at Clifford's Farm, the younger children including Joseph are listed as scholars. The youngest of their known children, Thomas E Thompson was born at Quebec in 1892. By 1901 James had changed occupation, now employed as a cartman, John William (20), Joseph (16) and James (14) all worked below ground at the colliery as a putter, engine plane boy and a general labourer respectively. Sara Thompson nee Eggleston died during the 4th quarter (Oct/Nov/Dec) 1911 aged 53 years by which time Joseph had already left home. In late 1910 he had married Mabel May Park native of Crook, County Durham where she was born July 19th 1885. They settled at Osbourne House, Burnell Road, Esh Winning, Joseph worked as a coal miner/hewer. Their daughter Jessie Francis Eggleston Thompson registered at Durham was born March 17th 1912, James R. at Lanchester in 1913 and Lilian during the 1st quarter (Jan/Feb/Mar) 1914 at Easington, within 6 months war was declared with Germany.

Joseph Eggleston Thompson and family were living at Flasshall Lane, Esh Winning, in 1914. He enlisted at Cramlington, Northumberland and was assigned to the Somerset Light Infantry as Private 15906. Posted to the 8th (Service) Battalion which was formed at Taunton in October 1914 part of Kitchenerís Third New Army under the command of the 63rd Brigade, 14th (Light) Division, Private Thompson departed with his regiment September 9th 1915 landing at Le Havre the following day. The Division crossed France, their first major offensive took place during the Battle of Loos, September 25th-October 19th 1915, the biggest attack of that year where the French and British forces tried to break through the German defences at Artois and Champagne. Despite their best efforts the attacks were rebuffed by the Germans and the Allies sustained heavy casualties, about twice as many than the Germans.

Private 15906 Joseph Eggleston Thompson Somerset Light Infantry was killed in action September 25th 1915 on the first day of the Battle of Loos, only 15 days after his arrival at the front which must have been a great shock for his wife and extended family. His sacrifice is recorded as one of the 20,644 names inscribed on the Loos Memorial, Pas de Calais, France, which forms the sides and back of Dud Corner Cemetery, Loos-en-Gohelle, 5 kilometres NW of Lens. The memorial commemorates the officers and men who have no known grave, who fell in the sector from the River Lys to east and west of Grenay, from the first day of battle until the end of the war. Private Thompson was 30 years of age.

Josephís brother John William Thompson also served during WW1, he survived the conflict and died in 1948 registered at Durham Western.

Mabel May received all monies due to her husband, a pension for herself and their 3 children and his awards of the 1914-15 Star, British War Medal and Victory Medal.

In 1939 Mabel May Thompson was living at Durham Road, Esh Winning with her widowed mother Janet (Jessie) Park nee Campbell and her youngest brother Angus, an unemployed bus driver. Mabel May Thompson nee Park died in 1952 her death registered in the district of Durham South Eastern.

Joseph and Mabelís daughter Jessie married Irish immigrant Patrick Joseph McArdle at Sunderland in 1939 and was living at Benwell, Newcastle-upon-Tyne in 1943 at 130, Hampstead Road and was qualified as an Assistant Nurse as of May 27th 1949 (London). Patrick Joseph McArdle may have died in 1976, Mabel May McArdle nee Thompson died in 1985 at Newcastle-upon-Tyne, Northumberland, aged 73 years. Details as regards James R. and Lilian Thompson, unknown.

In Godís safe keeping. Rest In Peace.

Joseph Eggleston Thompson is remembered in Esh Winning on E67.09 and E67.13 and at Quebec on Q2.06

The CWGC entry for Private Thompson

If you know more about this person, please send the details to janet@newmp.org.uk