Remembering the Fallen: on this day in 1945, Gunner Thomas Holmes, 3 H.A.A. Tractor Battery, the Royal Artillery, died as a result of wounds received in action during the Battle of the Bulge.
Gunner Holmes was the son of a coal miner who had served with the Durham Light Infantry during the Great War, and who survived the fighting at Ypres and on the Somme. He worked as a stonemason before volunteering to join the army at the outbreak of the second world war, and was posted to Bristol where he served as a driver and on anti-aircraft duties. Gunner Holmes saw action during the Battle of the Bulge, and was the sole survivor of his gun crew. He was wounded and sent home to the military hospital at Doncaster where sadly he passed away from blood poisoning.
Gunner Holmes lies buried in the Castleford Old Cemetery in Yorkshire, and is remembered on the Shildon war memorial in County Durham. His mother selected this inscription for his headstone: “Jesus in thy precious keeping guard him til we meet again”.
Thomas, from Auckland in County Durham, was 25 years old and married with a baby son.