Altrincham WW1 - Surnames starting with the letter B. 

Thomas Borthwick MM

Ship/Rgn/Sqn No:01st Bn
Name of Rgt or Ship:King's Own (Royal Lancaster Rgt)
How Died:Died of Wounds
Country of burial:France
Cemetery or Memorial:Thiepval Memorial, Somme
Town Memorial:Altrincham
Extra Information:
Born in Langholm, Dumfriesshire in February 1883.

1891 Census - Walter Street, Langholm, Dumfriesshire.   Son - aged: 8 -
Scholar - born: Dumfriesshire.   Head of household - Mina Borthwick - Widow
- aged: 40 - occ: Woolen Picker - born: Dumfriesshire.  Plus his sister -
Janet Borthwick - aged: 18 - occ: Woolen Darner - born: Dumfriesshire.

Janet married George Jenkinson at Altrincham during the September quarter
1891 - a seemingly short courtship?

1901 Census - 3 Stamford Park Road, Altrincham.   Brother in Law - aged: 17
- occ: Carter - born: Scotland.   Head of Household - George Jenkinson -
Married - aged: 32 - occ: Porter (General) - born: Altrincham.   Also -
Janet Jenkinson - Wife - aged: 28 - born: Scotland.  Plus Thomas's 2 young

1911 Census - 25 Stamford Park Road, Altrincham.   Brother in Law - aged:
29 - occ: Carter - born: Langholm, Scotland.  Heads of household - George
Jenkinson - Married - aged: 42 - occ: Furniture Remover - born: Altrincham.
 Also - Janet Jenkinson (Thomas's  sister) Wife - aged: 38 born: Langholm,
Scotland.   Plus Thomas's 3 nieces and 1 nephew.

WO363 - This confirms that he was born at Langholm, Dumfriesshire.  Thomas
enlisted at Manchester for "Short Service" in the British Army on the 1st
April 1902.  This comprised 3 years with the Colours and 9 years in the
Reserve.  He was described as being aged: 18 years 11 months and employed
as a Carter.  He was 5 feet 7 3/8ths inches in height, his weight being 119
lb.  He had a chest measurement of between 32 1/2 and 34 1/2 inches.  His
eyes were grey, his hair - brown and he had a fresh complexion.   He had a
"T B" as an indistinct tattoo on his left forearm.

On the 22nd September 1902 he overstayed his furlough returning at 22.45
hrs on the 25th September 1902.  For this misdemeanor, he was given 7 days
C.B. (Confined to Barracks), plus forfeiture of 4 days pay.  Perhaps the
reason for this lapse was that he was to be posted to Malta on the 4th
October 1902, where he served until the 24th November 1903.   Could he have
been visiting his mother up in Dumfriesshire before going overseas ???

He served "At Home" (in the U.K.) from the 25th November 1903 until the
10th October 1904.  He completed a "Mounted Infantry (Maxim Gun Section)
course on the 15th July 1904.   On the 25th August 1904, he extended his
service with the Colours in order to complete 8 years service.  He was
appointed Lance Corporal (unpaid) on the 24th October 1905, but the pay for
this rank was only applied on the 24th November 1906 - 13 months after
being appointed.

On the 11th October 1904, Thomas was posted to India where he served for
just over 5 years, returning to the U.K. on the 26th November 1909.  It was
during this time that he undertook service as a Nursing Orderly in
Calcutta.    He was promoted to the rank of Corporal on the 25th January

He wrote to the Army (undated) stating that he had found employment with
George Jenkinson of Altrincham and would they now transfer him to the Army

After his 8 years (extended) service, he was transferred to the 1st Class
Army Reserve.  On this document his conduct is described as 'Very Good,
sober and very reliable'.  The document also records that he has been
trained and employed as a Nursing Orderly in a hospital.  Also that he has
been through a Mounted Infantry course.   In 1909 he had also attended a
'Marksmans' course.

When he came to be discharged from the Army, he was described as being
aged: 26 years 8 month, 5 feet 8 inches in height, with a chest measurement
of 32 1/2 to 37 inches.  His intended place of residence (after discharge)
was to be 25 Stamford Park Road, Altrincham (His 1911 Census address).
Whilst serving in Jersey, Channel Islands, his C.O. signed him off on the
29th October 1910 and by then he had completed 7 years and 304 days
service.   This is rather strange as his "Military History Sheet" states
that he was serving "At Home from the 27th November 1909 until the 31st
March 1914, which is at odds with him residing with his sister at 25 Lloyd
Street, Altrincham at the time of the 1911 Census.

After completing his original 3 years service and his 9 years in reserve,
though it ended up that he had completed 12 years with the Colours, he was
finally discharged on the 31st March 1914.   This document headed
"Proceedings of Discharge" stated that his intended place of residence was
to be with R.A. Smith, Old Market Place, Altrincham.

This date of discharge is probably around the date or close to it, when he
states that his mother is Minnie Little of 46 Caroline Street, Langholm,
Dumfiesshire and that his sister is Janet Jenkinson, 3 Stamford Park Road,

He re-enlisted back into the Army on the 16th July 1914.  He was obviously
unhappy in Civvy Street and wished to return to military service.   He is
now recorded as being aged: 31 years 2 months (???) and 5 feet 8 inches in
height.   His address was given as - Old Market Place, Altrincham and his
next of kin, his sister Jeanette Jenkinson, Stamford Park Road,

The 1st Battalion, King's Own (Royal Lancaster Regiment) was part of 12th
Brigade, 4th Division.  The Battalion's record is too long to include here,
but after training at Cromer, Norwich, Wembley and Neasden, they entrained
to Southampton on the 22nd August 1914 where they embarked on the S.S.
Saturnia, arriving at Boulogne, France at 23.00 hrs. where they transferred
to the 36th Division.   He was appointed Acting Sergeant "In the Field" on
the 4th October 1914.

The Battalion was involved in the 1914 battles at Le Cateau, the Retreat
from Mons, the Aisne and Armentieres and in the Battle of Loos in 1915.

Whilst his early Army service was commendable, that cannot be said for some
of his WW1 service.   He was 'severely reprimanded' for an offence he
committed on the 15th September 1914, unfortunately the reason for the
reprimand is not decipherable.  Later, on the 18th November 1914, he was
now an "Acting Sergeant" (so he couldn't have been that badly behaved) he
was charged with drunkenness whilst on Active Duty.  He was sentenced to
one year in prison with hard labour, but was released from prison on the
3rd March 1915 under the "Army (Suspension of Sentences) Act 1915" and
rejoined his Battalion "In the Field" on the 7th.   

On the 27th March 1915, Mrs. M. Dodson of 3 Lloyd Street, Altrincham wrote
to the Regiment stating that she had not heard from Thomas for a number of
weeks and asking if they had any knowledge of his whereabouts.  (In Jail

Suffering from Dental Caries, he was admitted to the 12th Field Ambulance
on the 18th May 1915 and sent to the Casualty Clearing Station at Bailleul
on the 20th and then down to the 12th General Hospital at Rouen on the
24th.  He was discharged from hospital on the 30th May 1915.

His next service offence occurred "Whilst in the Field" on the 5th June
1916 when he was recorded as a Lance Corporal.   This time he was
reprimanded for "Neglect of Duty whilst on Active Service".  As a Section
Commander he did not see that his Section removed their equipment when

On the 28th June 1916, just two days before his death, he was severely
reprimanded' for "Disobedience of Army Orders by writing in a letter
information referring to the movements of troops".

He was fatally wounded on the 1st July 1916 and buried on the Battlefield 2
miles south-east of Hebuterne, Map reference Sheet 57d, Square K29d.  Over
time, his grave was lost, or at least his body if found could not be

He was posthumously awarded the Military Medal, Gazetted on the 16th
February 1917, page 1759.  The reason for this award is not known.

An Army Lieutenant wrote to his sister at 26 Stamford Park Road on the 24th
April 1920 informing her that he had in his possession, Thomas's Military
Medal, asking her if she would like the medal to be presented to her before
a parade of troops or sent directly to her home address by registered post.
  Mrs. Jenkinson, 25 Stamford Park Road, replied on the 27th stating that
it would be a pleasure to journey to Preston to receive Thomas's medal.  
However, another letter, to Mrs. Jenkinson dated the 20th May 1920 from the
Infantry Records Office, states that as they have not heard from her in
reply to their second letter of the 30th April, they would post the medal
to her.

Pension Record - Dependent was his mother - Mrs. Mina Little, 46 Caroline
Street, Langholm, Scotland.    Mina was awarded a pension of 4/6d w.e.f.
the 17th April 1917.

SDGW and his Army records both list his number as 7042.  The CWGC list it
as 7942.

He is also commemorated on the Chalmers Church at Langholm.

Memorials found on:
Altrincham & District Roll of Honour
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