THOMAS JOHNSON 

Rank: Sapper
Service Number: 447859.
Regiment: Yeomanry Mounted Div. Signal Sqdn. Royal Engineers Died Tuesday 29th October 1918 Age 24County Memorial Congleton
Commemorated\Buried ALEXANDRIA (HADRA) WAR MEMORIAL CEMETERY
Grave\Panel Ref: E.95.
Egypt

Son of Mr. Joseph Thomas Johnson and Mrs. Mary Emma Johnson, of 10, Hatter Street, Congleton, Cheshire. He had two sisters, Lucy and Alice Johnson, along with three brothers, Joseph, William and Percy Johnson. In 1911, he was a Packer in a Towel Factory.

Extract from the Congleton Chronicle 1918

Much sympathy will be felt for Mr. Joseph Johnson, of Herbert Street, Congleton, in the loss he has sustained by the death of his son, Sapper Thomas Johnson, of the Royal Engineers, which occurred in Egypt on the 29th of October 1918, from Malaria Fever. Sapper Johnson joined the Army in May 1915 and went to the Dardanelles in November of the same year with the Cheshire Regiment, subsequently leaving here for Egypt, where he was transferred to the Royal Engineers.

In the last letter to his home, written on the 4th of October 1918, Thomas refers to the great victory over the Turks.

He writes, Our brilliant victory out here will no doubt have a direct bearing on the result of the war. Bulgaria has already given it up and Turkey will be the next. From the last place I wrote, we continued our march east to complete the destruction of Jacko's 4thArmy. Our first destination was a large railway junction which we captured after a two days march, all the time passing Turks exhausted. It was hard to see them dying but of course they were passed by in due course. We still continued our march this time walking north following the Turks and passing more every mile, but we were getting nearer the main body of his army. After tracking about 120 miles on top of the record march his 4th Army was practically destroyed and we arrived at Damascus. Unfortunately we have not had a chance to go through but I don't care I know the war is nearly over and I want to see Blighty.

A RECORD MARCH.

In his letter to this Division the General wrote,

I desire to record my appreciation of the fine work of the Division during the remarkable operations which commenced with the break through the Turkish line on the 19 th of September 1918 and which has ended in the capture of Damascus on the 2nd of October 1918. There has not been much fighting, but the fighting there has been was carried out with skill and determination by those engaged. On the other hand, the rapidity of our movements has caused at least as great a material and moral loss to the Turks as any amount of hard fighting would have done. We have surprised the enemy at every turn and surprise is most effective as any weapon of war. The 4th Company Division has made a record march, no other Company Division, burdened with the equipment of modern warfare has covered an equal distance in the same time, whilst maintaining the efficiency and cohesion as a tactical unit ready, at any moment, to put their whole weight into the fight. I ask all units and ranks to accept my thanks for their cheerful endurance of fatigue and hardship, and for the loyal co-operation which alone has made this performance of the Division possible. We must also remember the horses and mules who have shared our labours, and to whom our gratitude can only be shown by continual care and consideration.

(Signed) G. Barrow, Major General, Commanding 4th Company, Division. 2nd of October 1918.


Cheshire County Memorial Project would like to thank John and Christopher Pullen for the research on Thomas

© Cheshire County Memorial Project
2016