Private Henry Wall THOMPSON (7394272)

3rd. Field Dressing Station
Royal Army Medical Corps.

Born: Abt November 1920, Westmorland
Died: 2 May 1944, Newmarket, Suffolk (Age 23) 

 

>Henry Wall Thompson was born around November 1920. The only son of Thomas Thompson and his wife Clara (nee Wall). Clara Wall was the eldest sister of Thomas Henry Wall, he died in WW1 and is also commemorated on the Patterdale War Memorial and in these web pages. In early 191, his mother Clara, who was born in Patterdale, was working as a 'Under-Housemaid' at Flass House near Crosby Ravenscroft. She met Thomas Thompson, a Railway Porter at nearby Tebay and a marriage was planned for March 1912. However, for some reason the marriage was 'called off' before the third reading of the Banns on the 25th February 1912. They did eventually marry around August 1914.  It is not clear exactly whereabouts the family lived in the early years but when his mother died in May 1923, at the young age of 33, she was recorded as living in Glenridding. It is quite probable that, Clara's mother, the widow Annie Tuer Wall helped to raise Henry and Constance at her home Oak Bank in Patterdale.

Before enlisting in the Royal Army Medical Corps in 1941, Henry was serving an apprenticeship in the building trade (possible Brown Leonard Ltd). He saw much service in the Mediterranean area, including Sicily and Italy.

The newspaper report about Henry's death, says that he had returned to England about 6 weeks before he died and had been granted leave which was spent 'at home' with his grandmother Annie (his father had died at the start of 1943, so this was probably his home now). However, towards the end of April 1944, he contracted Meningococcal Meningitis and was admitted to the White Lodge Hospital in Exning, near Newmarket in Suffolk, where he sadly died on the 2nd May 1944. His body was returned to his home and was buried in St Patrick's Churchyard on the 5th of May 1944 with military honours, six sergeants from a local camp acted as coffin bearers, their commanding officer read the lesson and a bugler sounded The Last Post.

The Medal Records for WW2 servicemen are contained within their service records, which have not been made publicly available. However, having served for about 3 years before he died, Private Henry Thompson qualified for, and would have been posthumously awarded, the following medals1:
        
        1939-1945 Star 
        1939-1945 British War Medal

Private Henry Wall Thompson is remembered and commemorated on: 

The Patterdale War Memorial
St Patrick's Churchyard, Patterdale (Grave 13)
The Commonwealth War Graves Commission Memorial Certificate


What became of his family?

Parents
Clara died at the beginning of May 1923 aged just 33 years. She is buried in St Patrick's Churchyard. His father Thomas Thompson had moved to Rose Cottage in Dacre before he died at the beginning of January 1943 aged 63 years. 

Siblings
His sister Constance M Thompson was born around May 1916

Notes:

1. Medals

1939-1945 Star - This star was awarded for service in the Second World War between 3rd September 1939 and 2nd September 1945. Royal Navy personnel had to complete 6 months service afloat in active operational areas. Army personnel had to complete 6 months service in an operational command. Airborne troops qualified if they had participated in any airborne operations and had completed 2 months service in a fully operational unit. RAF personnel had to participate in operations against the enemy providing that 2 months service had been completed in an operational unit. Non-aircrew personnel had to complete 6 months service in an area of operational army command. Merchant Navy qualified if they completed 6 months service, and at least 1 voyage was made through an operational area. Members of fighter aircraft crews who took part in the Battle of Britain (10 July to 31 October 1940) were awarded the "Battle of Britain" bar to this medal.

The criteria is 180 days’ service, although some special criteria apply when, at certain specified times, just 1 days’ service is required. These were actions for which a more specific campaign medal was not issued. Examples are: France or Belgium: 10 May to 19 June 1940, St.Nazaire 22-28 March 1942, Dieppe: 19 August 1942, Iraq: 10 April to 25 May 1941 and Burma (Enemy Invasion): 22 February 1942 to 15 May 1942.

Also recipients were awarded this star if their service period was terminated by their death or disability due to service. Also the award of a gallantry medal or Mention in Despatches also produced the award of this medal, regardless of their service duration.

1939-1945 British War Medal  - The War Medal 1939–1945 was a British decoration awarded to all full time service personnel of the Armed Forces wherever their service during the war was rendered. Operational and non-operational service counted provided personnel had completed 28 days service between 3rd September 1939 and the 2nd September 1945. In the Merchant Navy there was the requirement that 28 days should be served at sea.

Personnel who were eligible for a campaign star yet who had their service cut short by death, wounds or capture by the enemy, still qualified for this medal. Eligible personnel who had been mentioned in dispatches during the War were entitled to wear a bronze oak leaf emblem on the ribbon. Those War Medals issued to UK personnel were not officially inscribed. However, those issued to Australian and South African personnel were officially inscribed. It is sometimes described as the "Victory Medal" for World War II, although that is not its correct name.

Private Henry Wall THOMPSON, Report of Death, C&W Herald - 6 May 1944
Private Henry Wall THOMPSON, Funeral Report, C&W Herald - 13 May 1944
        Grave of Private Henry Wall THOMPSON - Patterdale Churchyard