Eric Hamilton Thomas

First Name: 
Eric
Middle Name: 
Hamilton
Last Name: 
Thomas
Father's Name: 
John Thomas
Date Enlisted: 
Monday, September 13, 1915
Rank at Enlistment: 
Sapper
Unit: 
4th Division Engineers
Company: 
7th Field Company
Service: 
Infantry
Date of Death: 
Saturday, May 4, 1918
Place of Death: 
Somme, France
Cause of Death: 
Wounded in Action
Details: 

Eric Hamilton Thomas (Service No 2758) was born in Muswellbrook circa 1895. His father, the Rev John Thomas was a Methodist Minister living at Molong at the time Eric enlisted, when he was 20 years and 7 months old. Due to Eric being underage when he signed up, his father endorsed Eric's decision to enlist, giving his permission in a letter dated 17 August 1915, in which he stated he was giving his son:

‘my full and hearty – if solemn consent to enlist for the war.’

At the time of his enlistment, on 13 September 1915, Eric was attending Sydney University as a Mechanical and Electrical Engineer student. He was a single man.

Eric was signed on as a Sapper with the 7th Field Company Engineers, and he embarked with his unit from Sydney, on board the HMAT A23 Suffolk, on 22 December 1915.

Eric fought on the Western Front, and was promoted consistently during his service, rising from Sapper, to Lance Corporal on 1 September 1916, Corporal on 5 March 1917, Sergeant on 29 April 1917, and finally Lieutenant on 15 December 1917.

On the 2 May 1918, Eric was wounded in action, his papers stating by 'Hostile Aircraft'. Eric died of his wounds on 4 May 1918, at the age of 23. At this time he was with the 4th Field Company, Enginners, Australian Section, 3rd Echelon, British Expeditionary Force.

Eric is buried at Aubigny British Cemetery, France.

In a sad footnote, Eric's family did not receive his personal effects after his death. In a letter dated 16 December 1919, in reply to enquiries made by the family, and addressed to Eric's sister, Miss L Thomas, London School of Economics, University of London, it was stated that:

‘one package of personal effects of your brother … containing articles as enumerated … was included in a consignment shipped from England per S.S. ‘Barunga”, which vessel was lost at sea, with all cargo, as a result of enemy action.”

 

 

Sources: 
NAA: B2455 THOMAS E H

Images

Letter from Eric H Thomas indicating that he is well and a letter was received.

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