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Thomas Callaghan was born on 16 March 1898 in Bamber Bridge, and baptised at St Saviour’s on 10 April.  His father was Richard Callaghan (b, 1861 in Dublin), a railway engine tuber working at the Lostock Hall sheds.  His mother was Sarah Bennison (b. 1860 in Bamber Bridge).  Richard and Sarah were married in 1886 and they had five children, losing one in infancy.  The survivors were: John (b. 1891), Richard (b. 1894), then Thomas, and finally James (b. 1902).  In 1911, the family were living at 16 Bridge Street, Bamber Bridge, and Tom, although only 13, had started work as a labourer in a cloth warehouse.


Tom probably enlisted when he turned 18, in 1916.  He joined the King’s (Liverpool Regiment) and was assigned service number 7209 and posted to 2/5 Battalion.  2/5Bn came under orders of 171st Brigade, 57th (2nd West Lancashire) Division.  They landed in France in February 1917.  The Division was engaged in the defence of Armentières and also in the Second Battle of Passchendaele.  At some stage, Tom was moved to the Lancashire Fusiliers and given a new service number, 235246.  It’s not clear when this happened but it may have been in February 1918 when 2/5KLR was disbanded.  Most men from the battalion were posted to other battalions in the same Division, but postings elsewhere were not unusual.  There is some confusion about which Fusiliers battalion he joined.  The Medal Roll says 11th Battalion but all other records say 1st Battalion.  It’s slightly academic, as both Battalions, although in different Divisions, were both in the same area and engaged in the same action during the Battles of the Lys in April 1918.  The Germans had launched the second phase of their Spring Offensive on 9 April, and Tom was killed during a German assault on Ploegsteert Wood on 12 April.


Rank:  Private

Service Number:  235246

Date of Death:  12/04/1918

Age:  20

Regiment/Service:  Lancashire Fusiliers. 1st Bn.

Cemetery/memorial reference: Panel 4.

Cemetery/memorial:  PLOEGSTEERT MEMORIAL

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