WAL(L)BANK(s) one-name study

Jean and Ian Wallbank's family history pages




ARMY SERVICE 1914-1919

Extracts of Battalion War Diaries are here

Thomas's tree can be seen here


Thomas Henry WALLBANK volunteered and took the oath   for  service in the Territorial Force at Hanley on the 17th October 1914 at the age of 17 years 6 months. He was assigned to the 5th (Home Services) Battalion of the North Staffs Regt. with provisional no. 3726. Prior to enlisting he was a brass fitter living with his parents at 1 Cooper Street , May Bank, Newcastle , Staffordshire.

The Medical Inspection Report prior to Attestation, dated 15th October, showed that he was 5ft 6in, had a 31in chest and was in good physical condition. A further medical examination was carried out on 20th October 1914 after Attestation .He was duly enlisted in 2/5th Batn. North Staffs Regiment with Regt, no. 3222.

HOME SERVICE (1914-1916)

From 17/10/1914to 26/9/1916 Thomas was on Home Service with the North Staffs Regiment, being posted to the 29th Provisional Battalion on 17th November 1915, then re-posted to 3/5th Batn North Staffs Regt.  on 11th  August 1916 , prior to embarking at Folkestone for Boulogne to join the  B.E.F. in France at Folkestone  on 26th September 1916 .

FRANCE (Sept.- Nov.1916)

After two weeks in France Thomas was transferred to 5th Reserve Batn. York and Lancaster Regt and posted to14th Batn York and Lancaster Regt. on 13th October 1916 . He was issued with a new Regt. no., 31544.   The 14th Batn Y&L Regt was also known as the 2nd Barnsley Pals, a regiment which took heavy losses on the first day of the Battle of the Somme on 1st July 1916 . The Batn was withdrawn from service and reinforced to continue service later in the year in the final phase of the Battle of the Somme in the northern sector around Serre, known as the Battle of the Ancre (31/10/16 –21/11/16) . Thomas was a part of this reinforcement and occupied the trenches opposite Serre from  16th October 1916 . However on 17th October he was admitted to 94 F.A., then to 93 F.A. with some unknown complaint, before rejoining his unit in the field  on  23rd October 1916 . Field duty consisted of 4 days in the trench front line, 4 days in the reserve trenches then 4 days in billets. Trenchfoot was rife as the  trenches were often ankle-deep in mud after the unusually wet  summer. Thomas fell victim to this disease and was admitted to 94 F.A. on 22nd November 1916 . He was transferred to 44 CCS on the 27th November, then admitted to 26 G.H at Etaples on the 29th November. His condition was serious enough for him to be sent to Edmonton Military Hospital in London via Newhaven on 30th November 1916

ENGLAND (1916-1917)

Thomas was posted to Depot at Pontefract and was confined to Edmonton Military Hospital for 94 days until discharged on 3rd March 1917 . On 19th May 1917 he was admitted to hospital at Ripon Depot for 81 days until 10th August 1917 , and on 20th May posted to Northern Command, Ripon. He was posted to the 3rd Batn York and Lancaster Regt. at Sunderland on 11th August 1917 .

Thomas overstayed his leave by 1 day 6h on 29th August and was deprived of 1 days pay. During the train journey to rejoin the Batn at Sunderland Thomas was charged with failing to salute an officer at York railway station on 30 August 1917 ; his punishment was confinement to barracks for 4 days.

BELGIUM 1917-1918 ( Ypres Salient)

On the 11 September he embarked for France where he was posted to 10th Batn York and Lancaster Regt., 34 IBD at Mont Kokereele Camp, near Boescheppe (near Ypres salient).  He was reposted to 1/4th (Hallamshire) Batn York and Lancaster Regt. on 19th September 1917 , and joined the Batn at Bray Dunes near Dunkirk the next day. He remained in the Ypres salient until August 1918.

He was in the field in the Ypres salient  continuously until August 1918, being involved in the 3rd Battle of Ypres (Passchendaele) (31/7/17 to 10/11/17) and the German Offensive in Flanders or 4th Battle of Ypres (April 1918). Luckily he saw only the final stages of the 3rd Battle , being in action SW of Ypres and in the Vlamertinghe areas. During the 4th Battle he was involved in the tactical incident, the Defence of Neuve Eglise on 11th – 14th April 1918,  the First Battle of Kemmel on 18th April and the Second Battle of Kemmel on 25th April 1918 ..  This was the final German push which nearly succeeded in taking Ypres and opening the way to the channel ports.

On July 1st 1918 Thomas was awarded Proficiency Pay Class1, possibly because he qualified as a  Lewis Gunner.

FRANCE (Sept.) 1918

In September the Batn was moved to the Arras area and fought north of Arras at Roclincourt. On 23rd September he was admitted to hospital at St Pol with dysentery, then transferred to hospital at Le ? before joining the 7th IB at Etaples on 6th November 1918 . He rejoined his Batn at Le Forest on 13th November 1918 . During his illness he missed a serious engagement at Haulchin, south of Valenciennes in which the Batn lost many men.


Thomas returned to England on 18th November for 5 days leave and finally left France via Boulogne on the 3rd March 1919 . He was disembodied at Clipstone, Yorkshire on 2nd April 1919 .

He was medically examined on 25th February 1919 in France and signed that he was suffering no disability or injury. At this time his home address is given as 29 James Street , Wolstanton, Newcastle , Staffordshire.

Thomas’s dispersal certificate shows that he was a Lewis Gunner.


[See the War Diaries for details of engagements of his respective battalions]

Ref: Burnt Records. PRO, Kew , WO363  - See Appendix 3


17/10/14                       Took oath at Hanley, assigned to  5th (Home Service) Batn North Staffs Regt

20/10/14                       Enlisted at Stafford . Posted to 2/5th Batn North Staffs Regt.(Regt. no.3222)

01/11/15                       Attached to 29th Provisional Batn

11/08/16                       Reposted to 3/5th Batn North Staffs Regt

26/09/16                       To France

13/10/16                       Transferred to 5th Reserve Batn York and Lancaster Regt, then posted to 14th Batn York and Lancaster Regt. New Regt no. 31544.

16/10/16                       In the field at.Serre, Battle of Ancre (final phase of Battle of the Somme )

17/10/16                       Admitted to 94 F.A., the to 93 F.A.(unknown complaint)

23/10/16                       Rejoined unit in the field at Serre.

22/11/16                       Admitted to 94 F.A.with Trenchfoot

27/11/16                       Admitted to 44 CSS

29/11/16                       Admitted to 26 G.H. at Etaples

30/11/16                       Admitted to Edmonton Military Hospital , London (via Newhaven).

                                    (Posted to Depot, Pontefract)

03/03/17                       Discharged from Edmonton Military Hospital

19/05/17                       Admitted Ripon Depot Hospital

20/05/17                       Posted to Depot , Northern Command, Ripon

10/08/17                       Discharged Ripon Depot Hospital

11/08/17                       Posted to 3rd Batn York and Lancaster Regt.

29/08/17                       Late from leave, 1 day loss of pay

30/08/17                       Failing to salute officer at York railway station, 4 days C(onfined).B(arracks).

11/09/17                       Embarked for France and posted to 10th Batn York and Lancaster Regt., 34I.Bd. at Mont Kokereele, Ypres salient.

19/09/17                       Reposted  to 1/4th (Hallamshire) Batn York and Lancaster Regt.[The German Offensive in Flanders; 3rd Ypres . Battle of Paschendaele (31/07/17-10/11/17)]           2nd Army, ix Corps.

11/04/18                       Defence of Neuve Eglise, (4th Battle of Ypres )

18/04/18                       1st Battle of Kemmel

25/04/18                       2nd Battle of Kemmel

01/07/18                       Awarded Proficiency Pay Class 1 (Lewis Gun skills ?)

05/09/18                       Moved to Arras area (The final advance in Picardy. 1st Army, xii Corps)

23/09/18                      Admitted to hospital at St Pol with dysentery

07/10/18                       Transferred to hospital at Le ?

06/11/18                       Joined 7th I.B. at Etaples

13/11/18                       Rejoined 1/4th Batn York and Lancaster at Le Forest

18/11/18                       Left France – leave in England

04/12/18                       Rejoined Batn in France

04/03/19                       Returned to England , Clipstone

02/04/19                       Disembodied at Clipstone