Remembering the Fallen: on this day in 1917, Lance Corporal Thomas Aloysius Rawcliffe, Military Foot Police, died in service at Le Havre in France.
Lance Corporal Rawcliffe was educated at Preston Catholic College, after which he was employed as a monumental mason for a while before joining the Preston Borough Police. In May of 1915 he enlisted with the Military Foot Police. He was described as a strong and fresh-complexioned young man standing 6’2”, many inches above the average height of the Great War soldiers. At the end of 1916 Lance Corporal Rawcliffe spent long hours on duty in freezing weather, which combined with the unsanitary and harsh conditions most likely exacerbated the health issue of which he may or may not have been aware. He was taken to hospital on New Year’s Day where he was found to be suffering from tuberculosis, from which he was to die three days later.
Buried in the Sainte Marie Cemetery at Le Havre, Lance Corporal Rawcliffe is commemorated on his family’s grave in St. Gregory’s Church cemetery at Weldbank in Chorley, as well as on the Preston Borough Police memorial.
Thomas, from Chorley in Lancashire, was 26 years old.