6/9115 Private Edward George Thomas of 3rd Battalion, Middlesex Regiment was killed on 4th March 1917 and is buried in the CWGC section of the Salonika (Lembet Road) Military Cemetery. He was just 19 and had joined the Battalion in France in August 1915.
We were contacted by Edward’s great-niece, Lynsey Ball, a month ago. Lynsey was planning a surprise visit to Thessaloniki for her parents and wondered if any light could be shed on her great-uncle’s death. This presented something of a mystery as at the time 3/Middlesex was part of 28th Division on the Struma front, yet Edward is buried in the main military cemetery in Thessaloniki and his medal record card shows that he was ‘killed in action’. Unless this was an error it ruled out death from malaria or other disease. In the end the Official History provided a possible explanation – the German air raid which hit 29th General Hospital on 4th March 1917 (see my centenary post). Could it be that Edward was a patient in the hospital – having been medically evacuated sick or wounded – from the Struma front? In the absence of any detailed records for Private Thomas this is supposition, but further research into the unit war diaries may provide an answer.
I’m pleased to say that Lynsey and her parents had a successful trip to Thessaloniki and were able to visit Edward’s grave on the centenary of his death. She has kindly provided the following photographs.