MOULD, Thomas Edward

No. 23/370, Private, Thomas Edward MOULD
Aged 21

15th Battalion, Durham Light Infantry
Died of his Wounds in Captivity on Wednesday, 10th April 1918

Thomas Edward Mould was born at Underwood Hall Cottage , Burrough Green (Newmarket Q3-1896 3B:507), baptised in Westley Waterless in 1898 son of James Thomas Barber and Phoebe Laura MOULD (née BELL).

1901 census...Aged 4, he was The Leys, Bury Lane, Lidgate with his father Thomas [35] groom/gardener, born Kirtling; his mother Phoebe L [34] born Ashley;sisters Laura [7] and Florence [5] both born Kirtling; brothers Alexander J [2] born Burrough Green and Fredric J [9 months] born Lidgate.

1911 census...Aged 14, a labourer, he was at The Belt, Lidgate with his parents (father now a labourer); brothers Alexander Joshua, Frederick Joe, Alfred Martin [9], Francis Herbert [5] and Albert Victor [3] and sister Agnes Edith [7]. All the new siblings were born in Lidgate. Sadly of the 15 children born by Phoebe, 6 had already died.

According to his military records, on 12th May 1919, still living in Lidgate were his parents, brothers Francis and Albert and sister Agnes. His sisters Laura and Florence were living in Moulton. Brother Alfred was at Horsley Heath, Tipton, Staffs while brother Frederick was in the Army, in the King's Royal Rifles at depot in Winchester.

His younger brother Alexander died of his wounds in France, exactly six months after him, serving with the Manchester Regiment.. see here

He enlisted in Driffield, Yorkshire, resident in Sledmere, Yorkshire.
He attested on 20th January 1916 in Driffield and was place don the Reserves. He gave his age as 19 years 5 months, occupation as cowman, living at Mill Farm, Sledmere, Yorkshire, next of kin, his father James Thomas MOULD, Belt Hill, Lidgate, nr Newmarket. He was 5ft 1.25 inches (155.5 cm) tall, chest 32" to 34" (81.3 to 86.4 cm).
Mobilised 14th June 1916, he was posted to the British Expeditionary Force in November 1916, joining the 15th Battalion in the field on 8th December 1916.
His number was changed to 23/370 on 24th January 1917, one part of the Army insisted on using 23358, the rest insisting it was 23/358. The forward slash version eventually won and CWGC uses 23/370.
On 3rd May 1918 he was back in England with a whitlow on the right index finger and posted to 3rd Reserves Brigade at South Shields. Returning to France, he was reported missing on 31st March 1918, then reported as a prisoner of war of the Germans on 3rd April.
Admitted to a German war hospital from Ambulance Transport Section 2 (with a shell wound to his right thigh) on 9th April, he died at 09:45 on 10th April and was buried at Le Cateau Military Cemetery , grave 1348.
The rest of his records are too badly damaged to read.

The 15th D.L.I. were part of General Gough's 5th Army, 21st Division, 64th Brigade. They were billeted at Frechencourt (12 kms north of Amiens on the Somme) on the night of 30th March1918, moving to Allonville on the 31st.It was the height of the Kaiserschlacht, the German Spring Offensive when they very nearly succeeded in defeating us. They had pushed all the way back to very close to Amiens, but their lack of supplies and reserves meant they were held and then when we had built up our strength again, boosted by the influx of American troops, the great push began to drive them back to Germany, but they surrendered first.
The day Thomas was captured the DLI 21st Battalion had 68 killed, only three having known graves.

photo: Commonwealth War Graves Commission

The German graves can just be seen on the right, beyond the trees

Thomas Mould is buried in Le Cateau Military cemetery, grave 1:B:29

click here to go to the Commonwealth War Graves Commission website for full cemetery/memorial details