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St James Church Taunton

World War 1 Memorial Project

Frederick George Thorn


Name: Frederick George Thorn

Rank: Private

Service Number: 37499 (formerly 2117, West Somerset Yeomanry)

Regiment: Somerset Light Infantry

Battalion/Unit number: 12th Battalion (also 229th Infantry Brigade, West Somerset Yeomanry)

Date/year of Birth: 1889

Place of Birth: Taunton

Place of Residence: 38 Bridge Street, Taunton

Date of Death: 18th September 1918

Place of Death: Picardy

Burial/Memorial: Vis-en-Artois (to the missing)

Frederick George was the second son of Henry and Louise Thorn. The family lived at 38 Bridge Street where his father had a dairy business. He had one brother, William, and four sisters, Harriet Elizabeth, Ellen, Emma and Esther. In 1911 he was working with his father in the dairy business and living at home. His married sister Harriet, previously a teacher, was also living there at the time of the census with her two children Phyllis and Cyril Raybould.

Frederick probably joined the West Somerset Yeomanry in 1916 and his enlistment return states that he was “mobilised on 4th August but put back to May 1916. Service in Egypt, Palestine and France” .  He was not awarded the 1914/15 Star, which indicates that he did not see service prior to 1916.

The 1/1st West Somerset Yeomanry, originally a mounted force, fought as dismounted troops at Gallipoli before being evacuated to Egypt in 1915. It then served as part of the Western Frontier force. In January 1917 while at Ismailia it was converted to 12th battalion Somerset Light Infantry. The battalion was posted to France and landed in Marseille on 7th May 1918.

We know that Frederick died on 18th September and is commemorated on the Vis-en-Artois memorial which bears the names of over 9,000 men who fell in the period from 8 August 1918 to the date of the Armistice in the ‘advance to victory’ in Picardy and Artois, between the Somme and Loos, and who have no known grave.



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