Thomas Henry Allison


Ryburgh Remembers


Sergeant 16082 Thomas Henry Allison

1st. Battalion Norfolk Regiment



September 16th. 1889- April 22/23. 1917



Thomas Henry Allison was born in Stibbard in 1889 and

baptised at St Andrew’s on November 9th that year. He was the

5th of the 11 children born to parents Thomas Henry Allison (the

son of John Allison a shepherd at Pensthorpe) and Elizabeth Maria

Kerrison of North Elmham.




Thomas and Elizabeth Allison



Thomas Allison had also been baptised at St Andrew’s by George

Tatham in April 1859 and even though the family moved between

Great and Little Ryburgh, Stibbard and Fakenham,10 of their 11

children were brought to St Andrew's to be baptised.




At the time of Thomas’ birth, the Ryburgh registers tell us that

his father Thomas was working as a Maltster. (one assumes for F

& G Smith)

The family moved several times following their marriage at North

Elmham in 1883 where their first child, Charles Allison Kerrison

(b. Nov 1 1881 baptised 7May 1882) was born. First to Great

Ryburgh between 1885 -1889…..a brief spell in Stibbard when he

is first described as a Maltster’s labourer in the 1891 Census and

then on to Little Ryburgh. The family was still resident there in

March 1898 when their 9th child, Violet Mabel was born. By 1901

they were living in Barningham Terrace, Fakenham and his father

was now employed as a “general labourer”. They remained in

Fakenham and the 1911 Census shows father Thomas was now

employed as a gas stoker and the older children working in the

print trade. Aged 21, Thomas, still living at home, was working as

a groom prior to his enlistment as Private 16082 in the Norfolk





He was posted to France on March 25th1915 and was killed in

action in an attack on the Thelus Vimy Line which took place on

April 22nd and 23rd 1917. This was the same action that claimed

the life of Percy Henry Neale who had also been born in Stibbard

and lived in Ryburgh. The following extract from the 1st Norfolk's

War Diary outlines the events of the day:


22nd April 1917


At BERTHONVAL WOOD in the morning but moved up at 5.30pm to relieve 15th R

Warwick Regt in the line. Commenced relieving at about 8.30pm. 1st Devons on

our left 52 Can Regt. on our right: difficult relief owing to very dark night, and the

fact that the Regt. we relieved had only been up about 24 hours and their guides

were not at all sure of their way to the Coys.


23rd April 1917


Attacked German position in the THELUS VIMY LINE in front of COULOTTE at


Report on attack and operation orders attached.

Officers 7 killed and 8 wounded out of 20 who took part in the attack About 200

ORs killed wounded and missing. Were relieved in the evening by 1st R.W.Kents.

and withdrew to BERTHONVAL WOOD. Very good relief by West Kents who

seemed to take in the situation at a glance, also had no difficulty with guides, as

several men in each Coy had been running all day between Coys and batt H Qrs.

Relief complete at 1.15 a..m. Weather very good.


22-4-17 10 O.R. Wounded


23-4-17 30 O.R. Killed


124 O.R. Wounded ( including 10 wounded -at Duty)

22 O.R. Missing

2 O.R. Wounded and missing


Lt. Col. J W V Carroll commanding the 1st Norfolks ends his report of these two

days with the following:


I account for the failure of the attack to the uncut wire, even if only the artillery had

cut two or three gaps in the wire where we could have got in the Germans would

have surrendered, as on our reaching the wire the occupants of the German front

line all held up their hands.”


Lt Col. Carroll was himself wounded October 5th that year



Thomas was awarded the 1915 Star, British War and Victory

Medals and is commemorated in France at the Arras Memorial.



During the 3rd quarter of 1915 Thomas was married to Margaret

M. Colman,  As he had been posted to France at the end of March

earlier that year, it was presumably when he was on home leave.

As his widow and sole legatee, Margaret received an initial

payment of £6-14/-4d in August 1917 and a further £15 War

Gratuity in 1919.

We currently know nothing further of Margaret except that a

Margaret May Allison married Abijah Grand a Railway Fireman

from Melton Constable in 1919 and emigrated with him to

Australia. She died there in New South Wales in 1972.


Like his brother Arthur, Thomas also sent their sister Rose

embroidered postcards and again we are indebted to the Walker

family for sharing these precious mementos:



Rose Minnie Maud Allison

photograhed in the late 1920's


The recipient of the embroidered cards below who would have

been aged 14 or 15 when she received them.




Thomas appears not to have been commemorated on any local

War Memorials. This is even more reason to remember him,

together with his brother Arthur, as part of this village’s sacrifice

100 years ago.





copyright 2016





Page last updated: Monday 10th October 2016 2:30 PM
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