Lawton Thomas


Sapper 82901, Royal Engineers

Died 15th April 1915 aged 28

No Known Grave Commemorated Menin Gate Memorial, Ypres, Belgium

Son of Thomas and Emma Lawton

Lived 40, Cater Lane, Heckmondwike

Thomas Lawton

Thomas was born in Bingley in 1887. His parents Thomas and Emma Lawton nee Crouch had married in Northamptonshire at the end of 1879 and had come to Yorkshire around 1884 . They had two sons and a daughter before Thomas was born and another daughter was born in 1889. They came to Heckmondwike around 1889 and lived on Walkley Lane. Sadly Thomas Lawton Sen. died in 1890 aged 37 years leaving Emma to bring up five children. A year after Thomas Lawton Sen. died his widow Emma remarried William Sheard and the family continued to live on Walkley Lane.

Thomas was working as a Hurrier in a coal mine in 1901 and by 1911 he was a Pit Sinker. When war was declared he was working as a Pit Sinker at Rossington Main Colliery Company in Doncaster. He left to enlist in the King's Own Yorkshire Light Infantry in September 1914 but transferred to the Royal Engineers (82901) as a Sapper. His knowledge of mining was put to good use as he volunteered for the dangerous work of mine driving with the Tunnelling Companies of the Royal Engineers. On 15th April 1915 the Germans exploded a mine close to the house in which his section was working and the house collapsed and fell on him killing him instantly.

His name is listed on the Menin Gate Memorial at Ypres, Belgium. He is also listed on the St. James’ Parish Church and St. Saviour’s War Memorials in Heckmondwike. He was awarded the British War Medal and the Victory Medal.{MA-083}

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