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TOW LAW

Pooley, T., Pte., 1915

Photo : pooleydee

Menin Gate Memorial

Photo : pooleydee Thomas with son William

Thomas William Pooley

15 Rothsay Terrace. Newbiggin-by-the-Sea

On the Ypres Menin Gate Memorial, Belgium is the name of 2960 Private Thomas Pooley, serving with the 1/8th Battalion Durham Light Infantry who died 26/04/1915.

Thomas was born at 2 East Terrace, Waterhouses, Durham, in 1881, baptised on the 27th November 1881 at St Paul's church, at Waterhouses, the third eldest son of 5 boys to Henry George Pooley, [born 16th August 1854, Mildenhall, Suffolk, died in October 1887], and his wife Hannah Armitage, [nee Shaw], [born Bradford, 1857, died 1929]. They were married on the 2nd December 1876.

They had 6 children, Susannah, born January 1886, [who married James Gibbs, born 1877], William , born 1883, James, born 1880, died in 1901, George Henry , born 1877, Charles , 1888 all born at Waterhouses.

When her first husband Henry George Pooley died, Hannah remarried Matthew Johnson, who was born at Houghton-le-Spring, in 1857.

In 1891, Thomas and his brothers George Henry, James, William and Charles were residing at Hamilton Row, Waterhouses, with their step father Matthew Johnson and their mother Hannah.

Thomas was employed at Shotton Colliery as a Putter, in 1901 and was residing at 18 Wilson Terrace, Haswell Plough, Durham.

When he enlisted East Hedley Hope, Tow Law, County Durham was recorded as his residence address.

Thomas married on the 15th April 1905, at the Register Office at Weardale, to a Hannah Elizabeth Ruecroft, [born July 1883, at Sunniside, died 1907], daughter of John Ruecroft, of Tow Law.

They were residing at the High Street in Tow Law. On the 2nd June 1907, Thomas William Pooley was born at Sunniside, he died 1963, in North Croydon, Melbourne, Australia. [He left the UK on the 22nd December 1928, from London on-board the S.S. Orvieto, third class, and arrived in Australia on the 22nd January 1929, at Fremantle, Western Australia. He married Mavis, and both were residing at 113 Millswyn Street, South Yara, Exeter Road, Victoria. Thomas served in the Australian Armed Forces in WW2. He enlisted on the 28th January 1942, 34 years and 6 months old, at Caulfield, South Yarra, Victoria, he reached the rank of Corporal with the service number VX73336. He was 5 feet 9 and a half inches tall, Brown Eyes, Fresh Complexion, with Brown Hair. Tattoo on left arm and scar on right cheek. He was admitted to hospital at least twice for a Boil to his left neck and an abscess to his left thigh.

Thomas was posted to the 27th Labour Company, on the 14th June 1942. On the 19th October 1942 he disobeyed an order which resulted in being fined 10s. Then was transferred to the Docks operating company. He served a total of 1399 days, of which 248 days were outside of Australia, located at the Netherlands East Indies. Thomas was confirmed a Corporal on the 6th February 1945, prior to have been an acting Corporal since the 2nd November 1944. Thomas was admitted to the 2/9 Army Hospital for Anxiety on the 17th June 1945, left hospital on the 11th July 1945. On the 3rd November he embarked on L.S.T., 419 from the Island of Morotai for Australia. To be discharged. [Thomas William was discharged from the 5th Australian Port Operating Company on the 26th November 1945]. He stated at that time he had two children one over 16 and one under 16. He had 4 children in total. Inez E.M. Pooley, a daughter died in 1943, she was born 1942. Robert born 1945, Peter T. born 1947 and Kathleen born 1949. He was given compassionate leave due to the death of his daughter on the 25th September 1943, with pay. [Thomas stated his occupation as a Rubber Worker.]

Hannah died on the 9th July 1907 at Richardson Row, Sunniside, Durham, believe the cause of death was acute pneumonia.

In 1911 Thomas was residing at 11 Garden Row, Sunniside, near Tow Law, with his son and Esther Ruecroft, mother-in-law and Robert Edmund Ruecroft, age 17, [born 1894, Quebec] brother-in-law.

Thomas enlisted into the 1/8th Battalion Durham Light Infantry at Tow Law, in August 1914, was given the Service number 8/2960, with the rank of Private.

On 16th August the battalion moved to Gateshead, then to Ravensworth Castle on the 19th August.

On the 1st September the battalion moved to Scotts House near West Boldon.

On April the 17th 1915, the transport and the machine-gun detachment departed the UK via Southampton for Le Havre. The rest of the Battalion departed on the 19th April 1915 from Folkestone to Boulogne on the S.S. Onward Official Number 125122.

Boulogne was reached at 01.00am on the morning of Tuesday April the 20th.

Thomas was killed at Boetleer's ['Bootlace Farm'], on the 26th April 1915. [For an account of the action See Lieutenant Brass story]. The 8th Battalion War History, by Major E Hardinge Veitch contains an excellent full account of the action, which was part of the 2nd Battle of Ypres.

Thomas left in his £50 11s 7d to Esther Ruecroft widow, who was residing at 15 Rothesay Terrace, Newbiggin-by-the-Sea, the home of Hannah's mother, where Thomas William lived as a child after his father's death. It passed to Hannah's brother Robert after his death.

Thomas Pooley is remembered at Tow Law on T57.01 and at Durham in the DLI Book of Remembrance page 99, and in the Battalion History page 256


History of LST 419
The CWGC entry for Private Pooley

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