Thomas Keogh

THOMAS KEOGH (1889 - 1916)

As a child, Thomas grew up in 1, Court, 1 Water Street, with his mother Mary Keogh and her younger sister Nora. Thomas' older sister, Maggie, was living with him and his mother at 10, Mill Road. By 1911, the twenty two year old Thomas had moved to 84, Lord Street with his mother and was working as a butcher for Mr H. Young.

Tomas attested for General Service, within a month of the outbreak of war, describing himself as a builder's labourer. On 3 September 1914, he was posted to the Cheshire Regiment. Within six months of joining the army, Thomas found himself in trouble when he was arrested on 31 January 1915 in Weston-super-Mare for misconduct in the form of an unlawful assault. As a result of his actions, Thomas was given one month's hard labour.

Six days before joining the Western Front, Thomas married Mary Gaskell at St Peter's Church in Macclesfield. Following their wedding, the new Mrs Keogh set up home at 4, Upton Cottage, Snow Hill. The couple were parted when Thomas left for France. With the 9th Battalion, Thomas sailed from Folkestone to France on 12 July 1915. He ended up serving with the 10th Battalion until it was transferred, in October, to the 7th Battalion, 25th Division. A month later, on 20 November, Thomas was transported to the 1st Scottish General Hospital, in Aberdeen, suffering with severe frost bite to his feet. After a lengthy convalescence, he returned to France on 19 May 1916. On returning to the Front, Thomas quickly impressed his superiors and was promoted to Lance Corporal on 21 June.

Three months after returning to France, Thomas was admitted to a hospital with a gunshot wound in his right knee. Thomas had two operations on the injury before a decision was made to return him home for further treatment. On 12 August, he was transported by hospital ship back to England and admitted to the 1st Southern General Hospital in Stourbridge, a military hospital within a section of Stourbridge Infirmary. Following yet another operation on his knee, Thomas was declared dead at 7pm on 17 August 1916.

The cause of death was given as a gunshot wound to the knee and secondary haemorrhaging. Thomas was twenty six years old.

Thomas' funeral took place a week later when his remains were returned to Macclesfield. The Macclesfield Courier reported:

"The body came by rail from hospital accompanied by four soldiers, arriving in Macclesfield at 11:30am on Tuesday morning. The cortege was headed by the combined Borough Reed and Town Bands, under the conductorship of Bandmaster D. Holt. The coffin was carried with the Union Jack
and on it were placed the cap, belt and bayonet of the deceased soldier."

The four pall bearers were Corporals Hatton, Wellings and Radforth and Private Usher. The funeral proceeded from Macclesfield railway station to the Catholic Chapel on the Westminster Road side of the cemetery.

"The route to the cemetery was lined with people and on the way the band played Beethoven's "Funeral March" and the [Handel] Death March [from] "Saul". Fr Curran officiated and at the conclusion of the burial service the "Last Post" was sounded by Albert Parker, of Christ Church Scouts. Numerous floral tributes were received including one from friends and neighbours."

When Thomas' medals were sent to his widow, Mary, she was living at 6, Preston Street, in Macclesfield. She was later awarded a widow's pension of thirteen shillings per week by The Ministry of Pensions.

For some unknown reason, Thomas' surname is spelt incorrectly on our parish memorial. His headstone and military records both give the spelling of his surname as Keogh and not Kehoe as shown in church.

Back to NAMES OF ST ALBAN'S FIRST WORLD WAR DEAD SERVICEMEN


If you would like to share any information you have about someone named on our memorial, please email Ann, ann.dalzell@yahoo.com

This website honours the WWI casualities of St Alban's Catholic Church, Chester Road, Macclesfield
www.stalbanmacc.org.uk
www.iwm.org.uk

StAlban's WWII war dead