Long Bennington and the Great War – Thomas Allwood

Thomas was born 26th October 1889, in Long Bennington, the third child of George Allwood and Martha (née Hutchinson).  Thomas had two older siblings: Fanny Elizabeth (born 1885) and George Frederick (born 1887).

The 1891 census shows the Allwood family living on North Road in Long Bennington, and in the 1901 census their address was given as Costa Row.  George was an agricultural labourer.

By 1911, Thomas was working as a waggoner on a farm in Carlton-on-Trent, Nottinghamshire.

Thomas enlisted with the 17th Battalion of the Sherwood Foresters (Notts & Derby Regiment) in February 1916 and was posted to France in October of the same year.

The 17th Battalion was involved in the Third Battle of Ypres, an attack that started on 31st July 1917 and continued until 4th August in the most awful weather.  The Battalion war diary reports on 1st July:

“Yesterday we carried all before us, it was one of the Battalions greatest days since its formation.  We penetrated the enemy’s defences which he had held for over 2 years to a depth of 2 miles.  It was a glorious feat and worthy of the Sherwood Foresters’ Record.  The day is very bad and the ground full of water and mud.  We have secured the crossings of the STEENBEEK and have dug in.  The enemy is reported to counter-attack.  The Battalion is quite prepared to resist to the end.”

Thomas was recommended for a Military Medal for his ‘gallantry and devotion to duty’ in that action.  This was confirmed on 1st September 1917 but sadly, just two weeks later, he was wounded in the right hand and chest; one of his fingers had to be amputated.  The War Office Weekly list a few weeks later reported that he was then entitled to wear a ‘Wound Stripe’ on his uniform.

On recovery from this injury, Thomas was transferred to the Labour Corps and was given a new Service Number; he was then Private 555410 and was probably assigned to war work in UK for the remainder of the Great War.

In 1919, Thomas was awarded the British War Medal, the Victory Medal and, because of his injury, a Silver War Badge.

Thomas returned to Costa Row and in 1930 he married Fanny Rawden.  The couple lived on Church Street from 1931, Thomas’ occupation was given as Maltster.

Thomas died at age of 81 in 1971.

Military Medal

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