Corporal Thomas Stroud

Regiment:  8th Battalion Royal Sussex
Service No:  G/1615
Date and place of birth:  1st qtr 1879 in Midhurst, Sussex
Date and place of death:  6 September 1917 

Family history

Thomas Stroud was the son of Thomas and Jane Stroud who lived at 5 Cussies Row, Petersfield Road, Midhurst. Thomas, the father, was born in about 1842 in Chichester, Sussex. He was a housepainter. His wife was born in about 1847 in St. Helena, South Africa. They had five children, one of them, Susan, died in 1896 aged 13.

At the 1911 census, Jane Stroud (64) was a widow and still living at 5 Cussies Row.  With her were her son Thomas (32), a house painter and one daughter, Ellen (25), a draper’s assistant, both unmarried. In 1913 Ellen Stroud married Alfred Bond in Midhurst.

Military service

Thomas Stroud enlisted at Midhurst.

The 8th (Service) Battalion was formed in Chichester in September 1914 as part of Kitchener’s Second New Army (K2) and moved to Colchester to join the 54th brigade of the 15th Division.  In February 1915 it became a Pioneer Battalion of 18th (Eastern) Division and moved to Salisbury Plain. In July they were mobilised for war and subsequently landed in Boulogne on 24 July and the unit assembled near Flesselles, with the full complement finally achieved 5 days later.

During 1916 the Battalion took part in the Battles of Albert, Bazentin Ridge, Delville Wood, Thiepval Ridge, Ancre Heights and the Battle of Ancre.

By 1917, during the German retreat of the Hindenberg line, they were involved in the Third Battle of the Scarpe, the Battle of Pilkem Ridge (31 July to 2 August), Langemarck (16 to 18 August) and Battles of Passchendaele (31 July to 10 November).

Thomas Stroud was awarded Victory, British and 1915 Star medals.

Death and commemoration

He was killed in action on 6 September 1917. He is commemorated on the Tyne Cot Memorial, Panels 86 to 88, on Midhurst War Memorial and on Memorial Panels in Midhurst Parish Church.

Subsequent family history

Jane Stroud died in Midhurst in 1931, aged 84.

Midhurst U3A WW1 War Memorial Project