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St James Church Taunton

World War 1 Memorial Project

Horace Charles/William Thorne


Name: Horace Charles/William Thorne

Rank: Private

Service Number: PO/1810(S)

Regiment: Royal Marine Light Infantry, Service Branch

Battalion/Unit number: 1st Battalion

Date/year of Birth: 12th April 1898

Place of Birth: Taunton

Place of Residence: 6 York Terrace

Date of Death: 7th April 1918

Place of Death: Not known

Burial/Memorial: Gezaincourt Communal Cemetery Extension

Horace Thorne was the youngest son of Robert W.C. Thorne and Alice Jane Thorne.  He had two older brothers, Albert Edward who also fought, and Robert William.

In 1901 the family were living at 25 Eastbourne Road, but by 1911 had moved to 6 York Terrace.  Robert worked as a leather finisher at the tanyard while Alice was a shirt machinist.

Horace was drafted into the 1st Royal Marine Battalion on 17th April 1917.  The Royal Marines were unusual as infantry troops as they came under the Admiralty rather than the Army.  The RMLI, however, took part in many actions in the war, such as the invasion of Gallipoli and in fighting on the Western Front.

Horace was involved in front line fighting, was wounded in action and later died of his wounds on 7th April 1918.  While we cannot be sure where or when he was injured, the RMLI were involved in the Battle of St Quentin (21st-23rd March 1918), the First Battle of Bapaume (24th-25th March 1918) and the Battle of the Ancre (5th April 1918), and it is likely that he sustained his injuries during one of these actions.  These took place on the Western Front in France while successfully holding back the German Spring Offensive known as Operation Michael.


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