Private Kenneth Fletcher Thomson

Kenneth Thomson © Berwickshire News findmypast.co.uk
Kenneth Thomson © Berwickshire News findmypast.co.uk

Thank you to Lenka Cathersides for the following research.

Kenneth Fletcher Thomson was born on the 16th of August 1895 in Guilsborough, Northamptonshire, to merchant and Baptist Minister Malcom McMillan Thomson and Edith Morley Thomson nee Fletcher.

Kenneth Fletcher’s father Malcom McMillan Thomson was born in the 2nd quarter of 1841 in Sculcoates, Hull, Yorkshire to Baptist Minister Donald Thomson, born about 1811 in Scotland and Sarah Thomson, born about 1814 in Bradford, Yorkshire.

At the time of the 1841 and 1851 Census, the family lived at Caroline Street, Sculcoates, Yorkshire, England. Donald Thomson was a Baptist Minister and Sarah Thomson was looking after their five children in 1841 and eight children in 1851, including Malcolm McMillan.

In 1861 Census, the family had moved to 13 Charles Street, Sculcoates, Yorkshire. Donald was a Baptist Minister and Sarah was at home. The family further comprised of their seven children. At this time Malcolm McMillan was working as a shipping and confectioner agent.

Malcolm McMillan Thomson married Elizabeth Ann C. Prowse in the 4th quarter of 1868 in the Registration District of West Derby, Lancashire.

Elizabeth Ann C. Thomson died in the 4th quarter of 1869 in the Registration District of West Derby, Lancashire.

At the time of the 1871 Census, the widowed Malcolm McMillan Thomson lived at 8 Gardner Road, West Derby, Lancashire. He was working as a general merchant. The household further comprised of his mother, merchant’s wife Sarah Thomson, and a general domestic servant.

Kenneth Fletcher’s mother Edith Morley Fletcher was born in the 2nd quarter of 1859 in Lower Clapton, Middlesex London to manufacturing chemist and later government inspector of [artillery] works Alfred Evans Fletcher, born about 1828 in Hatton Garden, London and Sarah Elizabeth Fletcher, born about 1836 in Leeds, Yorkshire.

At the time of the 1861 Census, the family was visiting [Theodore?] Howard, a commission merchant and broker at Spring House, Tottenham Green, Tottenham, Middlesex. At this time Alfred Evans Fletcher was working as a manufacturing chemist.

Malcolm Thomson re-married Edith Morley Fletcher in the 1st quarter of 1880 in the Registration District of West Derby, Lancashire.

At the time of the 1881 Census, merchant’s wife Edith Morley Thomson was staying with her parents at 5 Edge Lane, West Derby, Lancashire. Alfred Evans Fletcher was working as a government inspector of [artillery] works and Sarah was at home. The household further comprised of Edith’s eight siblings and a housemaid, cook and errand boy.

Kenneth Fletcher Thomson had six siblings: Douglas MacDonald Thomson born in the 4th quarter of 1881 in the Registration District of West Derby, Lancashire; Winifred Edith Thomson born in the 3rd quarter of 1884 in Liverpool, Lancashire; Malcolm McMillan Thomson born in the 4th quarter of 1885 in Fairfield, Lancashire; Angus Morley Thomson born on the 27th of June 1887 in Liverpool, Lancashire, Muriel Ethel Thomson born in the 4th quarter of 1890 in Liverpool, Lancashire and Ronald MacGregor Thomson born in the 3rd quarter of 1896 in Oswestry, Shropshire.

At the time of the 1891 Census, the family lived at 3 Fairfield Crescent, West Derby, Lancashire. Malcolm McMillan was working as a general merchant and Pastor of a Baptist church. Edith was looking after their children: Winifred Edith; Malcolm McMillan; Angus Morley and Muriel Ethel. The family also employed a general servant and domestic nurse.

Kenneth Fletcher Thomson was born on the 16th of August 1895 in Guilsborough, Northamptonshire.

Kenneth Thomson 1901 Census © Ancestry.co.uk
Kenneth Thomson 1901 Census © Ancestry.co.uk

At the time of the 1901 Census, the family lived at “Oakfields”, Oswestry, Shropshire, England. Malcolm was a Baptist Minister and Edith was at home. Of their children: Winifred was a teacher in a private school and Angus, Muriel, Kenneth and Ronald were scholars. The family also employed a general servant.

On the 28th of April 1904 Kenneth’s brother, Douglas MacDonald Thomson boarded SS Bavarian, and departed from Liverpool, England to Montreal, Canada. He was working as a labourer.

Kenneth’s sister Winifred Thomson married Victor Best, by Banns, on the 26th June 1907 at St Andrew’s church, Simla, Bengal, India. At the time of the marriage the couple lived in Simla. Victor was a brewer and Winifred was a missionary.

Kenneth’s mother Edith Thomson died in the 4th quarter of 1909 in the Registration District of Bristol, Gloucestershire.

Kenneth Thomson 1911 Census © findmypast.co.uk
Kenneth Thomson 1911 Census © findmypast.co.uk

At the time of the 1911 Census, the family lived at “Ivanhoe” in Shirehampton. The widowed Malcolm was a Baptist Minister. Of his children: Malcolm Jnr. was a theological student and Muriel with Kenneth were students. They were looked after by a general domestic servant. The household further comprised of three visitors: Bonar’s brothers who were scholars born in Rome, Italy. The house had eight rooms.

At the time of the 1911 Census, Kenneth’s maternal grandparents Alfred Evans Fletcher and Sarah Elizabeth Fletcher lived at Coombe Lea, Cliftonville, Dorking, Surrey. Alfred was a retired civil servant. The couple was looked after by a general domestic servant. The house had eight rooms.

On the 2nd of October 1912 Kenneth boarded SS Royal George, and departed from Bristol, England to Montreal, Canada. He arrived at Montreal on the 10th of October 1912. At this time he was working as a clerk.

Kenneth’s brother Angus married Edith Florence Laidley on the 28th of December 1912 in British Columbia, Canada.

Kenneth enlisted on the 26th of January 1916 in Edmonton, Canada into the ‘B’ Company, the 8th Battalion of the Canadian Infantry (Manitoba Regiment). He was a Private with regimental number 467577.

Prior to his enlistment Kenneth lived at Galiano Island, British Columbia, Canada and was working as a farmer. His next of kin is stated to be his father Malcolm Thomson of “Ivanhoe”, Shirehampton, England. Kenneth was 5 feet and 10 inches tall, had a fair complexion, blue eyes and light brown hair. He was a Baptist.

Kenneth Thomson was killed in an action on the 26th of September 1916 in Vimy, France. He was previously reported wounded, believed missing. He was buried in the field.

His brother, Private Angus Morley Thomson, of the 29th Battalion the Canadian Infantry, was also killed in an action on the 26th of September in France. He was buried in the field.

The Berwickshire News and General Advertiser dated the 2nd of January 1917 reads: “Rev. Malcolm M. Thomson, Minister of Castlegate Baptist Church, Berwick, has been notified that his 4th son, Pte. Kenneth F. Thomson, Canadians, has been killed in action on 19th [died on the 26th] Sept. His 3rd son, Pte. Angus M. Thomson, Canadians, was killed in action about the same date in France.”

Kenneth is commemorated together with his brother Angus on the Vimy Memorial in France.

Kenneth Thomson Book of Remembrance © www.veterans.gc.ca
Kenneth Thomson Book of Remembrance © www.veterans.gc.ca

Kenneth Thomson is also commemorated on page 173 of the First World War Book of Remembrance.

His particulars were sent to his sister Winifred Best nee Thomson of Galiano Island, British Columbia, Canada.

By 1922 Kenneth’s father Malcolm moved to Dorking, Surrey. The 1922 to the 1930 Surrey, England Electoral Registers read that he lived at 3 Clifton Terrace, Cliftonville, Dorking.

Malcolm Thomson died in the 2nd quarter of 1932 in the Registration District of Dorking, Surrey. He was buried on the 10th of June 1932 at the Dorking Municipal Cemetery. He was 91 years old.

Son of                          Rev Malcolm McMillan Thomson and Edith Morley (nee Fletcher) Thomson of Dorking

Brother of                    Douglas MacDonald 1881-1948; Winifred Edith 1884-1975; Malcolm Macmillan 1885-1984; Muriel Ethelwyn 1890-1978; Angus Morley 1887-1916; Ronald Macgregor 1896-1985).

Regiment                     ‘B’ Company, 8th Battalion, Canadian Infantry (Manitoba Regiment)
Number                       467577

Date of Death              26th September 1916
Place of Death             Vimy, France
Cause of Death           Killed in Action

Age                              21

Memorial                     Vimy Memorial, France