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Person Details
West Bridgford Nottingham
Albert was born in 1894 the youngest son of William Albert E (Egan or Ezra ) a general manager of The Boots Company a manufacturing chemist and Esther Thompson of 5 Patrick Road West Bridgford Nottingham. William and Esther had three children. However one died in infancy before 1911, their eldest son was William Andrew who was born in 1888. On the 1901 and 1911 Censuses the family was living at 5 Patrick Road West Bridgford. His brother William also served in the war. Boots 'Comrades in Khaki', January 1916, reported that he was gazetted Second Lieutenant on 27 November 1915 to the Sherwood Foresters. He had previously been in the University College Nottingham Officer Training Corps. William survived the war.
He attended St Cuthbert's College Sparken Hill Worksop.
21 Dec 1915
1770602 - CWGC Website
Second Lieutenant
1/5th Bn Royal Fusiliers (City of London Regiment)
Albert enlisted in the Royal Fusiliers as a private but was gazetted second lieutenant on 17th December 1914 and went out to France on 17th August 1915. During the night of December 20th and 21st, his company (" D") were engaged in a severe conflict with the enemy. Early in the attack he was wounded in the leg, but disregarding the injury he fought on and had actually reached the parapet of a German trench when he was fatally hit by a bullet. He is commemorated on the Loos memorial (Panel 25-27)
The Regimental History published just after the War mentions Albert by name on page 81,the following is an extract: "The attack [on the Hairpin at Loos] was most gallantly led by the Battalion Bombing Officer, 2nd Lieutenant A. M. Thompson, an officer of the 14th Royal Fusiliers, attached to Civil Service Rifles, but from the outset there was not the slightest chance of success. However, 2nd Lieutenant Thompson and the N.C.O.'s and men with him went to their end unflinchingly, and though the enemy put down an impenetrable barrier of bombs, rifle grenades and machine-gun bullets, the tragic scheme went on until all officers and N.C.O.'s taking part had been put out of action. ... Although Second Lieutenant Thompson had only been with the Battalion a few months, he had speedily won the confidence and respect of all ranks, for at all time he set a fine example of courage and devotion to duty. He was buried the next evening in the right leg of the Hairpin." The following is an extract from 'The Cuthbertian' April 1916 part 1 and 2: We greatly regret to announce also the death of A. M. Thompson, who fell while gallantly leading his men into action. We are indebted for the following account to the Nottigharn Daily Express: " Another gallant young Nottingham officer has made the complete sacrifice for King and Country. He is Lieut. Albert Martin Thompson, of the 14th Battalion Royal Fusiliers, whose home was ' The Pines,' Patrick Road, West Bridgford. Lieut. Thompson was the younger son of the late Mr. Albert Thompson, for many years the general manager of Messrs. Boots, Ltd. He was educated at Worksop College, and subsequently studied with a view to becoming a qualified chemist. At the outbreak of war,he enlisted in the Royal Fusiliers as a private, but he was early marked out for promotion, and was eventually gazetted second-lieutenant. The young officer went out to the Expeditionary Force in France with his regiment, and the courage he displayed in the severe conflicts through which he passed, won for him the esteem and admiration of his brother officers and men. Lieut. Thompson died fighting in the truest sense of the word. During the night of December 2oth and 21st, his company (" D") were engaged in a severe conflict with the enemy. Early in the attack he was wounded in the leg ; but disregarding this hurt he fought on and had actually reached the parapet of a German trench when he was fatally hit by a bullet . Mrs. Thompson, the dead officer's mother, has received a touching message from a brother officer of her son. " I regret to inform you," says the officer in question, "that your son and my great chum-was wounded in a local attack on the night of December 2oth-21st. He was wounded in the leg but he pluckily went forward, and, rallying his men, he got to the German parapet. Then he was again hit, this time fatally. Mr. Thompson has made himself highly respected by his men and greatly loved by his brother officers," Boots 'Comrades in Khaki', January 1916, 'Dead on the Field of Honour' (photograph): 'Second Lieut. Albert Martin Thompson. The announcement which appears in this issue of Mr William Thompson's appointment to a commission had scarcely been written - the ink, indeed, was barely dry - when news was received of the death of his brother, Second Lieut. Albert Martin Thompson, on service at the front. AM Thompson was only 22 years of age, but in business he had proved himself a thoroughly capable business man, and in battle he had proved himself every inch a soldier. When war broke out he speedily enlisted as a private, and his merits won him rapid promotion through the ranks - Lance Corporal, Corporal and Sergeant - with final advancement to a commission. On the night of December 20th he fell while in action with his regiment, the City (London) Royal Fusiliers. As a high-spirited young fellow, warm-hearted, manly and generous, he was most popular among his colleagues at Boots, all of whom deeply mourn his untimely loss. His memory as a soldier may be safely based on the brief but genuine eulogy which has reached his widowed mother from the field of battle in the following terms: 22/12/15, dear Mrs Thompson, I regret to inform you that your son, my great chum, was wounded in a local attack on the night of the 20-21st inst. he was wounded in the leg, but pluckily carried on, rallying his men and getting to the German parapet. Then he was again hit, this time fatally … Mr Thompson had made himself highly respected by the men, and greatly loved by his brother officers of ‘D’ Co. Feeling his loss so much as I do, I can most sincerely offer the sympathy of his brother officers and his men to you in your great grief. Yours sincerely, GC Grimsdale Lieut, OC ‘D’ Co.’ The subjoined extracts from letters written by Second Lt AM Thompson within the past few weeks have a mournful interest. They show him as he was. He realised the gravity of affairs clearly enough, and the perils of warfare – and faced them without bravado but with calm courage. He touched lightly upon hardships, and dwelt bravely upon the brighter and happier aspects of his campaigning. ‘The battalion is back in corps reserves for some weeks, so we have said a ‘goodbye’ to the trenches for a time, at least, thank the Lord. We entrained and got here on Monday. This is a fine little place, quite busy, with good shops. Once can get all manner of English things at quite fair prices, better even than at – (our last big place). We are right behind, out of reach of even the 42-centimeters. The place is a big hospital centre – full of nice-looking English nurses – bless them! The weather was vile for days on end during our last time in the trenches – but picked up for our move, and today has relapsed into a steady drizzle. We are very comfy here in billets. It would have touched your heart to see us come in from the trenches. I nearly died of happiness when I realised that at last I could wash, shave, eat food without grit in it, undress, and settle down for a 12-hour blanket fatigue, ie sleep. I have a fine little bedroom, spotlessly clean only in the house of an ‘ouvrier’ but typical in its comfort and neatness. We mess – the company officers, that is – with a dear French lady who feeds us ‘a la francaise’ and spoils us completely, dear soul. She has husband, brothers, and son, all ‘a la guerre’ but she shows no great anxiety or worry, at least, not before us. We are taking a few days’ complete rest, and shall then have to train hard. I am detailed for a machine gun course. All the officers will go to some course or other. November 9th saw us at the nadir of our wretchedness in the trenches. I shall have added reason to remember the day. We have been cinema-ed by th War Office. Look out for the 15th London leaving the trenches. I am in the rear company of the battalion, and must be very conspicuous on the film, as I was so near the camera.’ … ‘I was so glad to get your letter, and must thank you for sending more books. The others have been a huge enjoyment to us out here, and have been duly passed on to spread the pleasure elsewhere. We all enjoyed ‘Spanish Gold’ and ‘The Experiences of an Irish RM’. Light stuff is always acceptable: we get enough ‘agony’ at other times, and it is laid on with a dry brush to. I have finished my machine gun course at last, and today had the honour (?) to be appointed Battalion Grenadier officer (or, as the vulgar say, Bombing Officer). It is dry work training, but in the event of a ‘strafe’ (like those of September 25th and October 13th (it is the bombers who get the chances for DCMs and VCs if anyone. It is, as I told them at home, death or glory in a ‘strafe’.’ Not death or glory, but death and glory have been the portion of Albert Martin Thompson. Requiescant in pace.’ (Nottinghamshire Archives, ref. RB.38) Death notice published 29th December 1915 in the Nottingham Evening Post :- “THOMPSON. – On the 21st December, 1915, killed in action in France, Second-Lieut. Albert Martin Thompson, 14th Royal Fusiliers, younger son of the late Albert Thompson and Mrs. Thompson, The Pines, Patrick-road, West Bridgford, aged 21 years.” Above notice is courtesy of Jim Grundy and his facebook pages Small Town Great War Hucknall 1914-1918
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