Diamond War Memorial Project

Private Walter Thomas

2nd Battalion Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers. Regimental Number 4013
Born: ---- Died: 1914-11-13 Aged: 19 Enlisted: Londonderry.

Interred in Strand Military Cemetery, Comines-Warneton, Hainaut, Belgium. Name commemorated on the Diamond War Memorial.

Son of Mrs Mary Buchanan, and stepson of Mr Robert Buchanan, 42, Miller Street, Londonderry.

Walter Thomas was a native of Drogheda, County Louth, but lived in Derry since he was four years old. He was possibly a member of Clooney Hall Methodist Church.

He volunteered for active service, and left the city of Londonderry with a draft at the beginning of November 1914. Initial unofficial reports stated that he had the misfortune to be shot through the head the first night he was in the trenches. Private Thomas was an apprentice to the painting business with Mr Baird, Linenhall Street, and was very popular with his fellow workmen.
A brother of Private Walter Thomas, Drummer John Thomas, Inniskilling Fusiliers, who was only eighteen when he sailed with the original Expeditionary Force, was awarded a parchment certificate for devotion to duty on 10th/11th July 1916. In addition to the parchment certificate, he also held the Mons ribbon and the D.C.M. Drummer Thomas was posted as missing on March 21, 1918, and was later notified as wounded and a prisoner of war in Germany.
Another brother of Private Walter Thomas, Sergeant William Thomas, also of the Inniskillings, served with the forces in the East.
The name of Walter Thomas was read out during a memorial service held in St Columb’s (Church of Ireland) Cathedral, Londonderry, on Sunday, August 1, 1915, to commemorate the officers and men of the city of Derry, who had died during the first year of the Great War.