THORNE, Hubert Leslie

51503 Private, 10th Bn., Lincolnshire Regt.

Born

November 1897.
Son of Hubert William and Beatrice Ellen Thorne, of 40, Gold St., Tiverton, Devon.

Education

Blundell’s School, a “Day Boy” from the age of 13; January 1911 - Summer 1913.

The Offensive

The Salient was formed during the First Battle of Ypres in October and November 1914, The Second Battle of Ypres began in April 1915 when the Germans released poison gas into the Allied lines north of Ypres. This was the first time gas had been used by either side and the violence of the attack forced an Allied withdrawal and a shortening of the line of defence.

There was little more significant activity on this front until 1917, when in the Third Battle of Ypres an offensive was mounted by Commonwealth forces to divert German attention from a weakened French front further south. The initial attempt in June to dislodge the Germans from the Messines Ridge was a complete success, but the main assault north-eastward, which began at the end of July, quickly became a dogged struggle against determined opposition and the rapidly deteriorating weather. The campaign finally came to a close in November with the capture of Passchendaele.

Death

17th April 1918, aged 20.

Burial/Commemoration

Private Thorne has no known grave so is commemorated on the Tyne Cot Memorial, Zonnebeke, Ypres, Belgium, (Flanders). Panels 35 to 37 and 162 to 162a.

Memorial

Tyne Cot Memorial to the Missing forms the north eastern boundary of Tyne Cot Cemetery, 9km East of Ypres on the N332, Ypres - Zonnebeke road. This site marks the furthest point reached by the Commonwealth forces until nearly the end of the conflict. It commemorates those of all Commonwealth nations (except New Zealand) who died in the Salient; in the case of United Kingdom, casualties after 16 August 1917. It now bears the names of more than 35,000 officers and men whose graves are not known. The memorial was designed by Sir Herbert Baker with sculpture by Joseph Armitage and F V Blundstone, and unveiled by Sir Gilbert Dyett in July 1927.

The Cemetery was established around a captured German blockhouse which was used as an advanced dressing station but the original battlefield cemetery of 343 graves was much enlarged after the armistice when bodies of soldiers were brought in from the battlefields of Passchendaele and Langemarke and is now the largest Commonwealth cemetery in the world.

Research

Commonwealth War Graves Commission - www.cwgc.org
Public Records Office, National Archives, Kew: Medal Rolls: WO372/20
“The Register of Blundell's School, Part II 1882 – 1932” (1932) MAHOOD, A.S., Ed. Entry No.5454
“Cemeteries & Memorials in Belgium & Northern France” (2004) Commonwealth War Graves Commission. 6/149
Field visit (JEA & GRY 11.04.2005)

 

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