Lance Sergeant Thomas Harrison

Lance Sergeant Thomas Harrison 1st/7th ( Territorial ) Battalion, Northumberland Fusiliers. He was killed in action on 26th April 1915 at the Battle of St. Julien which was as part of the wider Second Battle of Ypres. This was a British counter-offensive following a successful German gas attack a few days earlier which captured the village. The 1st/7th Battalion were a Territorial Unit and part of the 149th Northumbrian Brigade which suffered heavily on that day losing nearly 2000 men including their Commanding Officer Brigadier General James Riddell. Lance Sergeant Harrison had been born in Berwick and was married and lived at Dock View, Tweedmouth. He had been an enthusiastic Piper in the Town band. He is commemorated on the Menin Gate, Ypres, Flanders, Belgium. The Battalion had only landed in France before being rushed North into Belgium to take part in an attack to support the Canadians. This baptism of fire cost over 400 casualties. The two artist’s impressions depict fighting during the Battle. The first photo shows troops trying on their rudimentary gas masks and the second the photograph shows the Memorial raised to the 50th ( Northumbrian ) Division of which the Battalion was part until February 1918 when it was transferred to the 42nd ( East Lancashire ) Division as the Pioneer Battalion. It was erected near the village of Wieltje in the Ypres Salient where the Division fought its first Battle on the 26th April 1915.

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