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William Henry Thomas, Private 1373, Welsh Guards.
Died 16 September 1916.
Decorations: The British War Medal and The Victory medal.
William is listed as born in Caldicot but this actually means Highmoor Hill, which was at that time officially in Caldicot parish, and explains why his name is on the Caldicot War Memorial.
He had two brothers and a sister and they went to Caerwent school. Different family members lived in various cottages around Highmoor Hill - 'Cobbler’s Pitch' was one, but most likely William was brought up in one of the Shirefield Cottages.
William enlisted in Newport and was killed in action in September 1916 during the first battle of the Somme.
This battle was started by the British, raged for four months and was marked by inept British planning. Only 125 square miles were gained at the cost of 630,000 Allied casualties.
The family continued to live at Highmoor Hill until the 1930’s, when brother Bob moved to live over the shop in Caerwent and brother Harold moved to Caldicot.
Sadly one of Harold’s sons, David, was killed in the 2nd World War and so is named on the Caldicot Memorial alongside his uncle William.
William has no known grave and is listed on the Thiepval Memorial, France, shown below. The memorial is built on the site of the Chateau which was destroyed in the fighting.