3068 PTE. T. EASTHAM. L.N.LAN.R.
Thomas Eastham was born in the first quarter of 1896 at Coup Green, Higher Walton, Lancashire. His father was James Eastham (b. 1866 in Higher Walton), a cotton spinner. His mother was Isabella Crane (b. 1866 in Woodplumpton). James and Isabella were married in 1891 and they had seven children, though one died in infancy. The survivors were: Frederick (b. 1894), then Tom, then John (b. 1899), Annie (b. 1901), Emily (b. 1903) and finally Clara (b. 1905). In 1911, the family was living at 24 Bridge Street, Higher Walton. Tom was working as a creeler. Some time between 1911 and 1916 the family moved to 47 Station Road, Bamber Bridge.
Tom attested he was willing to serve as soon as War broke out – he signed up on 25 August 1914. He joined the Loyal North Lancashire Regiment and was assigned service number 3068. He was 5’ 3¼” tall, weighed 107lbs and had a 33” chest. After a period of training in the reserves he was posted to 1st Battalion and he joined them in the field on 16 March 1915. The Bn at the time was occupying trenches near Festubert. At the end of April, the Battalion strength stood at 23 officers and 826 other ranks. They fought at Aubers Ridge in May 1915 and in September at Loos.
In June 1916, the Battalion was in the trenches not far from Lens but on 5 July they moved first to Divion, then they marched to Lillers and there they entrained for Flesselles. A few days later they were at the front, defending the village of Contalmaison which had been captured on 9 July. By the night of 10 July, 1st Division was in place ready for the fighting on 14 and 15 July. Mametz Wood had been effectively taken and cleared of the enemy (at enormous human cost) by 12 July and the next phase was to advance beyond the wood. Some progress was initially made on 15 July but by nightfall the Division was back where it started. Thomas was killed during this action. He was 20 years old.
Service Number: 3068
Date of Death: 15/07/1916
Regiment/Service: The Loyal North Lancashire Regiment, 1st Bn.
Cemetery/memorial reference: III. O. 47.
Additional Information: Son of Mr. and Mrs. James Eastham, of 47 Station Road, Bamber Bridge, Preston.
48 other officers and men from 1Bn L.N.LAN.R. lost their lives on 15 July 1916.