Altrincham WW1 

Thomas Skelhorn

Ship/Rgn/Sqn No:85th Bn
Name of Rgt or Ship:Canadian Infantry (Nova Scotia Rgt)
How Died:Died of Wounds
Country of burial:FranceGrave Photo:Yes
Cemetery or Memorial:Barlin Communal Cemetery Extension
Town Memorial:Altrincham
Extra Information:
Born during the March quarter 1887 in the Altrincham R.D. - ref: 8a/177,
the third son of John Henry & Elizabeth Skelhorn (nee Newbigging).

1891 Census - 40 Police Street, Altrincham.   Son - aged: 4 - Scholar -
born: Altrincham.  Head of household - Harry Skelhorn - Married - aged: 35
- occ: Stoker at Gas Works - born: Millington, Cheshire.   Also - Elizabeth
Skelhorn - Wife - aged: 36 - born: Scotland.  Plus 6 siblings, including
his eldest brother - Archie B who was also killed in WW1.

1901 Census - 40 Police Street, Altrincham.   Son - aged: 14 - occ: Pork
Butcher's Errand Boy - born: Altrincham.  Head of household - Harry
Skelhorn - Married - aged: 48 - occ: Bricklayer's Labourer - born:
Altrincham, Cheshire.   Also - Elizabeth Skelhorn - Wife - aged: 47 - born:
Scotland.  Plus 7 siblings, including his brothers - Archie & Samuel who
were also killed in WW1.   His maternal uncle is listed as is a visitor.

Attended the St. Margaret's C. of E. School.    Member of the Altrincham

Sailed from Liverpool on the S.S. Lake Manitoba to Quebec, Canada on the
2nd April 1912.   He was aged 24 and occ: Labourer.

He was residing at Sioux Lookout at the time of his enlistment.  His
Canadian attestation form, signed on the 25th March 1916, at Fort William,
Ontario, states that he was 27 years of age, 5 feet 8 inches in height, had
a 34½ to 38 inch chest (fully expanded).   His complexion was - brown, his
eyes - grey and his hair - brown.    The papers also state that he was a
Pipefitter's Helper by trade and that he had previously served  for 5 years
in the 3rd Cheshire Volunteers.

Religion - C of E.   He was unmarried and his mother - Mrs. Elizabeth
Skelhorn, 40 Police Street, Altrincham, Cheshire, was listed as his next of

The 85th Canadian Infantry Battalion was mobilized in Halifax and recruited
in Nova Scotia.  It embarked at Halifax on 13 October 1916 aboard OLYMPIC,
disembarking in England on 19 October 1916.  Its strength was 34 officers
and 1001 other ranks.   The battalion arrived in France on the 11th
February 1917, becoming part of the 4th Canadian Division, 12th Canadian
Infantry Brigade. It was later reinforced by the 17th Canadian Reserve

Involved in what became known as the "Affairs south of the Souchez River"
3rd - 25th June 1917.  Wounded in the head in action on 17th June 1917 and
died of his wounds 3 days later in a Field Hospital (probably the No.6
C.C.S. (Casualty Clearing Station) on the 20th.   Extracts from the
Battalion's War Diaries - See
    Fine & warm. Enemy artillery active in morning. At 4.30 a.m. enemy
bombing party attacked one of our posts but was driven off by our party
with rifle grenades. Intermittent shelling all day. Working parties tonight
same as previous nights. Carried stokes ammunition and also had night and
day parties working on changing course of the Souchez River.   Enemy
artillery unusually quiet during night.  Our artillery used gas shells
during night and Machine Guns
were active.

M.I. - "The supreme sacrifice, his life.  God's will be done".

His death was reported in the 29/06/1917 edition of the Altrincham Guardian
that stated he was 19 years of age ???

He had three brothers also serving.  Private Samuel was in the Cheshire Rgt
and was KIA  on 21/11/1916.  Private Matthew Skelhorn, also in the Cheshire
Rgt was a POW.  Private Archie Skelhorn was with the Canadians in a
training camp, though he was also KIA on the 17/11/1917.

Mrs Mostyn who lived at 40 Police St, Altrincham.  Archie Skelhorn was her
eldest brother.  Her husband was serving in the South Lancashire Rgt.    
Her two other brothers - Private Samuel Skelhorn, Cheshire Rgt and Private
Sam Skelhorn, Canadians had also been killed.   Her youngest brother -
Private Matthew Skelhorn was a POW.   Her brother in Law - Private John
Houghton was also serving at the front.   See local newspaper report

Listed in the Guardian Year Book - Roll of Honour for 1918.

Memorials found on:
St. Margaret's (Dunham Massey)
Altrincham & District Roll of Honour
Trinity Presbyterian Church
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