Remembering the Fallen: on this day in 1916, Private Thomas Banks, 16th Battalion (2nd Salford Pals), the Lancashire Fusiliers, was killed in action on the Somme.
Private Banks worked as a farm labourer after leaving school. On first joining the army, he enlisted with the Royal Field Artillery and later transferred to the Salford Pals, raised on the 15th of November in 1914. The Pals first saw action at Thiepval Ridge on the Somme on the 1st of July in 1916, during which battle they were almost wiped out. The battalion was later reinforced and continued to see action throughout the duration of the war.
On the day of his death, Private Banks’ battalion were attempting to relieve men trapped in the Frankfurt Trench, which was 1.6 kilometres from the village of Beaumont-Hamel, and it was during this encounter that he lost his life. His wife had not been told of his death by the time their second child was born on the 19th of February in 1917; their first baby had died an hour after birth in December of 1914. Private Banks has no known grave and is remembered on the Thiepval Memorial to the Missing on the Somme, near the village of Thiepval in Picardy, France.
Thomas, from Darwen in Lancashire, was 23 years old.