Thomas Pedley, L/Cpl 1302, 1/7th Battalion, Cheshire Regiment
Died at sea 24th November 1915 near Gallipoli, Turkey, aged 21
Thomas Pedley was born on 13th April and baptised on 20th May 1894 at Park Green United Methodist Free Chapel, Macclesfield, the youngest son of Elizabeth Ann and Thomas Pedley, an overlooker, of 10 Pearson Street, Macclesfield. In 1901, six year old Thomas junior was living at the same address with his parents and siblings John James (11), Hannah (8), and Elizabeth (5). Ten years later, in 1911, the family was at the same address and Thomas was employed as a cotton weaver at Lower Heyes Mill.
Thomas was educated at St Paul’s National School, attaining Standard V, and on 26 October 1907 he enrolled at Macclesfield Technical School to further his education. He attended Park Green United Methodist Church and School, and held office in the Independent Order of Rechabites, of which his father had been a member for 42 years and was treasurer for 21 years.
Thomas joined the 7th Cheshire Regiment (Territorial Army) in 1911 and was mobilised on the outbreak of the war. Following a period of training in the south of England, the 7th Cheshires, as part of 159th Brigade, 53rd (Welsh) Division, received orders to equip for service in an undisclosed location in the Mediterranean. In July 1915 they sailed from Devonport to Alexandria in Egypt, then on to the island of Lemnos on the 4th August.
On the evening of 8th August, the Battalion arrived off the coast of Gallipoli and the following day landed at “C” Beach, Suvla Bay. Whilst serving at Gallipoli, Thomas suffered two attacks of dysentery. The second proved to be fatal and he died on board hospital ship HMHS Guildford Castle on 24 November 1915 at the age of 21. His death was reported in the Macclesfield Times on 17 December 1915:
PRIVATE T PEDLEY – “God be with you till we meet again.” These touching words were the last written to his parents by Private Tom Pedley, 1/7th Batt Cheshire Regt, before he died from an attack of dysentery on November 24th. The letter was received by Mr and Mrs T Pedley, 10 Pearson St, on Monday, the day after the arrival of a note from the Chaplain informing them of their son’s death. Private Pedley was the youngest son of Mr and Mrs Pedley, and was 21 years of age. He had served three years in the Territorials and was mobilised at the outbreak of war. In civil life he was a weaver at the Lower Heyes mill. He was a regular attendant at Park Green United Methodist Church and School, and had held office in the local tent of the Independent Order of Rechabites. His father has been a member of the organisation about 42 years, for 21 of which he has held the position of treasurer. Private Pedley was educated at St Paul’s School. The attack of dysentery which proved fatal was the second since his arrival in the Dardanelles.
The sad news of his death was conveyed in a letter from the Rev B J Failes, Chaplain of a hospital ship: “I am writing to express my deep sympathy in the death of your son, Tom Pedley, Private, 1/7th Cheshires. He died of dysentery on board this ship on 24th November. The remains were buried on the island of Lemnos…” Mr and Mrs Pedley have another son, Jack, serving with the Territorials in the Dardanelles.
L/Cpl Thomas Pedley is buried in Grave Ref. III. D. 102. in East Mudros Military Cemetery, Lemnos, Greece.
The Commonwealth War Graves Commission holds casualty details for L/Cpl Thomas Pedley, and he is listed on the Imperial War Museum’s Lives of the First World War website.
Brother of John (Jack) Pedley who served with the 7th Cheshire Regiment with service number 3801 (later 291218), was invalided home from the Dardanelles, then sent out to France in 1917, injured there in August 1917 and awarded a silver war badge in April 1918 due to his injuries.