Thursday, April 19, 2012

Private Thomas William Halpin 9243

Thomas William Halpin

There was only one record for Thomas W Halpin on the CWGC website and he was in the King's (Liverpool) Regiment.
born 1st October 1883 in Liverpool to parents Agnes Ann and Thomas Halpin (a coppersmith) of Roscoe Lane. He was baptised on 15th October 1883 in Liverpool Parish Church of St Peter. See baptism record below.

In the 1901 census return the family were living at 91a Rathbone Street, Thomas Halpin Senior was now a dock labourer. Thomas William was 17 years old and out of work, at the time of this census he was the eldest of 7 children at home.

Fortunately, some of Thomas W Halpin's records survived in the pension records.
They show that Thomas William Halpin enlisted for short service (12 years) in the army on 7th April 1902 and was posted to the Derbyshire Regiment, the Sherwood Foresters, with the regimental number 7295. He enlisted for Short Service of 3 years with the colours and 9 with the reserve.

Thomas Halpin's pre-war service papers show that he was 18 years and 2 months of age when he enlisted, the medical report says he was 5ft 4 and 1/2 inches tall and weighed 130 lbs, he had a fresh complexion, grey eyes and brown hair and a scar on the bridge of his nose.

His service record shows that he attested on 7th April 1902 and was first posted as a private (depot) on 10th April 1902. He was transferred to the 2nd battalion The Sherwood Foresters on 7th July 1902
 and was granted Messing Allowance on 1st Nov 1902.
On 7th Dec 1902 he was posted as a private to 1st battalion The Sherwood Foresters
He was transferred to the Army Reserve 9th May 1905

His service history sheet shows that he served
home 7.4.02 - 7.12.03
During this time his army defaulters sheet shows that he was charged with being 'improperly dressed', 'absent from tattoo for 2h 40min' and 'fighting in the barrack room' all in 1902. His punishments were being confined to barracks for a few days.

China 8.12.03 - 6.12.04
Singapore Straights Settlements 7.12.04 - 8.5.05
  When in Singapore he was 'admonished for having a dirty cap during kit inspection'.Home 9.5.05 - 6.4.14 for his time in the reserve.
He fought in no campaigns and was not entitled to any medals or ribbons.

On transfer to the Army Reserve in 1905, Thomas's medical report shows that he was 21 years and 6 months old, 5 feet 6 inches tall, his chest measured 37, waist 33, helmet size 21 1/2 and boot size 7 1/2. His complexion was fresh, eyes grey and hair brown. His trade was carter and his 'intended place of residence' was 11 Roy Street, Liverpool. His distinguishing marks were scars on his left wrist and right forearm and on the bridge of his nose.

His family as listed in these records were:
Father Thomas W
Mother Agnes A
Brother Joseph J
Brother William J
Brother John
All the above of 91a Rathbone Street Toxteth, Liverpool

Mary Catherine Tivney (spinster)
married at the Parish Church Liverpool 1st Jan 1906
witnesses Joseph Halpin, Catherine Casey

After being transferred to the Army Reserve, Thomas would have returned to living with his family and, in exchange for about 3 shillings a week he had to undertake some army training each year and be prepared for mobilisation in the event of war.

Marriage records show that Thomas did indeed marry a Mary Catherine Tivney on 1st January 1906 but finding out more about Mary Catherine has proven difficult. The marriage record shows that her father's name was Joseph and at the time of the marriage she was 18.

The 1911 census return shows Thomas William at the home of his parents, 51 Back Chester Street (this is in Toxteth, close to St James). He was listed as married but without his wife. His occupation was Dock Labourer. Thomas's entry shows that he had been married for 5 years and had one surviving child. Birth records show that this was most likely Mary Catherine Halpin, born in the last quarter of 1906. Presumable she was with her mother


Thomas William Halpin completed his 12 years engagement and was discharged from the Army Reserve on 6th April 1914 his service papers don't show that he extended his time with the reserve but it is possible that he did this, and was in the army reserve when war was declared. This would explain his early embarkation date, otherwise he must have volunteered early in the war.

Thomas's WW1 service was with the 4th Battalion, The King's (Liverpool Regiment) which was an extra reserve battalion.
The medal card for Thomas's service in the Great War (below) shows that he was in the Liverpool Regiment as Private number 9243. It appears to show that he was awarded the British Medal and Victory Medal but then has a notation that the 15 Star, Victory Medal and British Medal were all returned.
The card shows that Thomas fought in France, joining this theatre of war on 4th March 1915. This is when the 4th battalion embarked for Le Havre and were attached to Sirhind Brigade, Lahore Division of Indian Corps. One-month later, on 24 April, a German offensive begaSecond Ypres, which became the 4th King's first major battle. In the second subsidiary action of the offensive, at Saint-Julien, the 4th King's sustained more than 400 casualties over a four-day period, the majority, some 374 of these while supporting the 1/4th Gurkha Rifles on the 27th April, the day that Thomas William Halpin was killed in action. He had survived less than 8 weeks in France.


The following information is from his entry in UK Soldiers Died in the Great War 1914-1919

Thomas William Halpin
Birth Place:
Death Date:
27 Apr 1915
Death Location:
France & Flanders
Enlistment Location:
King's (Liverpool Regiment)
4th Battalion
Type of Casualty:
Killed in action
Theatre of War:
Western European Theatre


Thomas W Halpin has no known grave and his name is commemorated on the Ypres Menin Gate Memorial.
click here to go to Thomas William Halpin's entry in the CWGC database

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