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  • 12568 Corporal Thomas Milner was killed in action on 11 March 1917 and buried in this cemetery, grave I.M.44. Visited, photograph taken and wreath laid by John Morse
Person Details
Creswell Derbyshire
Thomas was the youngest son of Benjamin and Martha Milner (née Raison). His father Benjamin was born in Clowne, Derbyshire, in 1852, the son of John and Hannah (Ann) Milner. In 1871 the family was living in Clowne; Benjamin (19) was a coal miner and his father a farmer. His mother Martha was born in Walesby, Lincolnshire, in 1852, the daughter of Richard and Maria Raison. She was baptised in Walesby parish church on 22 February 1852. In 1871 Martha was living in Sheffield, a domestic servant in the household of Joseph Soute, a cutlery merchant. Benjamin and Martha, both 21 and living in Clowne and Gainsborough respectively, were married at Gainsborough All Saints on 4 November 1873. They had ten children, two of whom died before 1911. Nine children were born in Clowne, Derbyshire, and the youngest, Thomas, in Creswell; all the births were registered in Worksop: Benjamin birth registered 1876 (J/F/M), bap. Clowne 26 March 1876 d. 1877 (A/M/J Worksop), Elizabeth b. 26 March 1878 bap. Clowne 10 April 1878, Martha b. 31 May 1880 bap. Clowne 30 October 1881, Richard b. 11 July 1882 bap. Hope parish church Derbyshire 3 September 1882, George b. 1884 (O/N/D), Robert b. 1886 (O/N/D) bap. Hope 7 November 1886, Annie (Ann) b. 1889 (A/M/J) bap. Hope 5 June 1889 d. 1903 (A/M/J Worksop), Joseph b. 11 May 1890, William b. 1891 (J/A/S) bap. Hope 26 July 1891 and Thomas b. 1893 (O/N/D). In 1881 Benjamin (29), a coal miner, and Martha (29) were living on High Street, Clowne, with their two children, Elizabeth (3) and Martha (under 1 year); their first child, Benjamin, had died four years previously. Also in the household were Martha's parents, Richard Raison a farm labourer, and Maria, and Benjamin's nephew, John Pycroft (16 b. Blidworth) a coal labourer. By 1891 Benjamin was a farmer and living at The Cross, Clowne, with his wife and their seven children: Elizabeth, Martha, Richard (8), George (6), Robert (4), Ann (1) and Joseph (under one year). Still living with the family were Martha's mother, Maria Raison (82), now widowed, and John Pycroft. Also in the household was a boarder, John Saddington (17 b. Sheffield), a farm servant. The family had moved to Hazlemere Farm, Creswell, Derbyshire, by 1901. Benjamin and Martha's nine surviving children were all living at home: Elizabeth, Martha, Richard who was probably working with his father on the farm, George, Robert, Annie, Joseph, William (9) and Thomas (7). The youngest daughter, Annie, died two years later in April 1903 (A/M/J Worksop) age 13 and was buried in Creswell-in-Elmet churchyard on 16 April. Benjamin and Martha were still living at Hazlemere Farm in 1911 with their son Thomas (17) who was working on the farm. Also in the household was George Healy (18) a farm servant. Benjamin's sons, William and Richard, may also have been working on the farm; William was living in the village with his married sister, Martha Franks, and Richard with his wife whom he had married in 1908. Thomas later worked on the Duke of Portland's estate at Welbeck, Nottinghamshire. The CWGC record gives his parents' address as Wood Villa, Elmton Road, Creswell, and this was the address given on the probate records of both Thomas (1917) and his brother William (1918). Thomas' mother Martha died on 31 December 1924. The probate record gave her address as 64 High Street, Clowne; administration was awarded to her married daughter Elizabeth Bennett. His father Benjamin, also of 64 High Street, Clowne, died a week later on 7 January 1925; he was buried in Creswell-in-Elmet churchyard on 10 January. Probate was awarded to Elizabeth Bennett and Arthur Jackson and George Henry Richardson farmers. Of Thomas' seven surviving siblings: Elizabeth of Hazlemere Farm married Robert Bennett (b. 5 April 1874), a miner, at Creswell parish church on 10 October 1910. In 1911 they were living on Elmton Road, Creswell, with his widowed mother, Emma, brother Joshua (35), a fruiterer, and sister Mary (32) assistant fruiterer. They were still living at the same address in 1939 when the England & Wales Register was compiled; the premises incorporated a greengrocery and confectionery shop. In the home on the night of the census wiere Elizabeth, Robert, a retired coal hewer, and Margaret Bennett (b. 28 April 1911) a shop attendant. Elizabeth died in 1951 (O/N/D Chesterfield). Martha married Ambrose Franks (b. 14 April 1876), a widower, at Creswell with Elmet church on 10 December 1907. In 1911 Ambrose (34) a farm labourer, and Martha were living at Elmton Oaks with their two children Thomas Benjamin (2) and Martha Ann (6m) and Ambrose's daughters Gertrude (12) and Edith (10). Also in the household was Martha's brother William (19) who was probably working on their father's farm. In 1939 Martha and Ambrose, a general farm labourer, were living at Markland View, Crewswell Road, Clowne. Martha died on 12 December 1946, her husband survived her. The probate record gave her address as Markland View; Robert Franks was award probate. Richard married Sarah Hadfield (b. 19 April 1884) in Clowne on 26 December 1908 (O/N/D Worksop). The registration of their marriage gave his occupation as horse keeper. In 1911 they were living in Elmton with their son, Richard Hadfield (b. 1 October 1910); Richard's occupation was given as 'farmer's son working on a farm' suggesting he was still working with his father. In 1939 Richard, a general labourer, and Sarah were living at Holmefield Mount, Creswell Road, Clowne, with their son Robert (b. 6 March 1917) a collier underground and surface fitter. Richard died in 1951 (A/M/J Chesterfield) and was buried in Christ Church churchyard, Chesterfield, on 15 June. George has not yet been traced on the 1911 Census, but he probably married Rosa Bartle (b. 27 January 1876) in 1916 at Elmton St Peter (J/A/S Worksop). In 1939 they were living at Silverfields Farm, Fishpool, Ravenshead, Nottinghamshire, with their son George H Milner (b. 26 October 1916) a general farm worker who presumably was working for his father. Also in the household was Doris Handley later Milner (b. 21 September 1916). George died on 25 December 1962; he was still living at Silverfields Farm. Administration of his will was awarded to his son, George Herbert Milner, a farmer. Robert has not yet been traced on the 1911 Census but it seems likely that he emigrated to Australia in 1925, sailing on the SS Narkunda (P&O) departing London 23 October to Sydney. He married in Australia and died on 12 June 1936 at Culcairn, Greater Hume Shire, New South Wales; he was buried in Culcairn General Cemetery. Joseph enlisted in the Royal Marine Light Infantry on 7 January 1910 and in 1911 was in barracks at Alverstoke, Gosport, Hampshire. He was discharged by purchase the same year. He married Florence A Dean (b. 17 October 1887) in 1912 (A/M/J Southwell) and they had a son, Frederick (b. 6 October 1912). They were living in Farnsfield, Nottinghamshire, when he enlisted in the Sherwood Foresters. Joseph was killed in action on 1 July 1917. Florence did not remarry and in 1939 was living in Farnsfield with Wilfred H Dean (b. 19 September 1882, unmarried). She died in 1966 (J/A/S Southwell). Their son Frederick married Rosa Kirk (b. 7 March 1911) in 1937 (J/A/S Southwell) and in 1939 they were also living in Farnsfield; Frederick was a butcher. Frederick died in 1985 (O/N/D Haywards Heath Sussex). William was living with his married sister, Martha Franks, in Creswell in 1911; he was working on a farm, probably for his father. He served in the Royal Field Artillery and died of wounds on 15 May 1918 at Huddersfield War Hospital. He was buried on 20 May 1918 in Creswell-with-Elmet churchyard. The probate record gives his address as Wood Villa, Elmton Road, Creswell, his parents' home. (See 'Extra information')
In 1911 Thomas was working on his father's farm. He later worked on the Welbeck estate, Nottinghamshire.
11 Mar 1917
23
67732 - CWGC Website
12568
Creswell Nottinghamshire. Enlisted Welbeck.
Corporal
2nd Bn Sherwood Foresters (Notts & Derby Regiment)
Thomas Milner enlisted around 15 August 1914 and was posted to 9th Battalion Sherwood Foresters. Several other Welbeck employees enlisted in the same battalion, He served with the battalion in Gallipoli and was wounded on 9 August 1915 during an action in which several Welbeck employees were killed. After recovering from his wounds Thomas was posted to 2nd Battalion Sherwood Foresters and served in France. The battalion occupied the front line trenches in the sector known as Exeter Castle which was near Loos. When in reserve the battalion could be found at Mazingarbe. On 9th March, 'C' Company mounted a raid on the enemy's front line and had great success. (John Morse) Thomas was killed in action on 11th March 1917 and was buried in Philosophe British Cemetery Mazingarbe (grave ref. I.M.44).
His older brother Lance Corporal Joseph Milner enlisted in the Royal Marines Light Infantry on 7th January 1910. However, he purchased his discharge and left the service on 5th August 1911. Joseph was living in Farnsfield when war was declared and enlisted at Southwell, joining the 2nd Bn Sherwood Foresters. He was killed in action on 1st July 1917 and is commemorated on the Loos Memorial Dud Corner (Panel 87 to 89). Joseph is commemorated on the war memorial at Farnsfield St Michael, Nottinghamshire. (See record on this ROH.) His older bother William served as Lance Bombadier 63144 in the Royal Field Artillery. William he enlisted at Mansfield and died of wounds at the War Hospital, Huddersfield, on 15th May 1918. He was buried in the family grave in St Peter's churchyard, Elmton, Derbyshire. The three brothers are commemorated on the family headstone in St Peter's churchyard, Elmont, Derbyshire, and on the Creswell war memorial. Probate: Milner Thomas of Wood Villa Elmton-road Creswell Derbyshire lance-corporal Nottinghamshire and Derbyshire regiment died 11 March 1917 in France on active service Administration (with Will) Derby 5 January to Martha Milner (wife of Benjamin Miller). Effects £88 18s 10d. The following newspaper report published in 1915 mentions men from the Sherwood Foresters who were killed or wounded at Gallipoli on 9 August 1915 (date not included in the report). One of those wounded was Tom [Thomas] Milner: Mansfield Reporter, 10 September 1915: ‘Welbeck’s Heroes. Many Portland Estate Employees Fall. Sympathy of the Duke and Duchess. News has reached Welbeck of the death of a number of men who enlisted from the Duke of Portland’s estate, and most of whom are in the Sherwood Foresters. The battalion took part in the fight at Gallipoli, early in August and suffered severely. Among the dead are Lance-Corporal JH Michie, son of his Grace’s wood steward, and Privates William Johnson, Frank Fletcher, Everitt, and Cyril Hancock, all of whom were employed at Hunciecroft Paddocks and in the gardens. Private Arthur Williams is missing, and Private Hayes and Tom Milner are wounded. The sad news has come from Corporal Grant, one of the garden staff, to Mr J Gibson, the Duke’s head gardener. It is a touching letter, and it is easy to discern that it was written under a sense of great personal loss. Corporal Grant writes: ‘Dear Sir, I am writing to confirm the sad news I sent you of those who met their death on the [blank]. It is more than sad to tell you that there is no doubt of the worst having happened to Jimmy Michie, Everitt (from Hunciecroft), Frank Fletcher, William Johnson, and Cyril Hancock. Arthur Williams is missing, and I fear the worst. I have tried several times to find tidings of him but have failed. Hayes from the stable, and Tom Milner are wounded in the legs and are on their way to England. The battle on the [blank] when these men fell was terrible, and the regiment suffered severely, and if you could only have seen the heroism of many of the Welbeck men and others you would have felt more than proud of them. There is no doubt that their behaviour in face of almost certain death, and their coolness was a help to others. Poor lads, they were buried as near as possible where they fell, and a cross on each grave is now all that indicates their last resting place. They fell like heroes. God bless them. The report of Lance-Corporal Michie’s death is confirmed in a letter which Mr and Mrs Michie received from Sergeant Ward, of the 9th Battalion. ‘Just a line,’ he says, ‘to let you know how very sorry I am to inform you of your son’s death. But I am very pleased to say that he died a soldier’s death and was buried by his comrades and we placed a little wooden cross on his grave. He was shot through the heart, death being instantaneous. As you will see by the papers, the Battalion lost very heavily, your son being one of those killed. His loss will be felt by his comrades as he was as good a soldier as could be wished for. I hope you will excuse me taking the liberty of writing to you and letting you know. I can assure you that in your sad sorrow you have his comrades’ sympathy.’ The Duke and Duchess of Portland and members of the family have written to the relatives of the men, expressing sympathy and admiration of their heroism.’ (www.britishnewspaperarchive.co.uk) Article published 31st March 1917 in the Derbyshire Courier :- “CRESWELL N.C.O KILLED. “Corporal Thomas Milner, Notts and Derbys, youngest son of Mr. and Mrs. Ben Milner, Wood Villa, Creswell, was killed in action on 11 March. The deceased, who was 23 years of age and of handsome physique, enlisted at the outbreak of war. Until then he was employed in the gardens at Welbeck. He received a bullet wound the thigh at the Suvla Bay landing, and was subsequently treated at Netley Hospital. He went to France in November, 1915, spending two Christmas Days in the trenches. His brother, Lance-Corporal Joe Milner, who is the same regiment, has also communicated his parents the sad news of his brothers death, and adds that the body had been interred in the cemetery behind the lines. Another brother, Gunner William Milner, is also in France. He enlisted with the deceased in 1914, prior to which he was in his father's employ at Hazlemere Farm. Lance-Corporal Joe Milner, who is married, with one child, worked at the Mansfield Colliery before joining in April, 1915.” Above article is courtesy of Jim Grundy and his facebook pages Small Town Great War Hucknall 1914-1918
Remembered on

Photos

  • 12568 Corporal Thomas Milner was killed in action on 11 March 1917 and buried in this cemetery, grave I.M.44. Visited, photograph taken and wreath laid by John Morse
    Philosophe British Cemetery Mazingarbe - 12568 Corporal Thomas Milner was killed in action on 11 March 1917 and buried in this cemetery, grave I.M.44. Visited, photograph taken and wreath laid by John Morse
  • Commonwealth War Graves Commission headstone marking his grave at Philosophe British Cemetery, Mazingarbe, France. Photograph courtesy of Murray Biddle
    Thomas Milner - Commonwealth War Graves Commission headstone marking his grave at Philosophe British Cemetery, Mazingarbe, France. Photograph courtesy of Murray Biddle
  • Joseph, Thomas and William Milner are commemorated on the Creswell war memorial. Photograph courtesy of Peter Gillings
    Creswell war memorial - Joseph, Thomas and William Milner are commemorated on the Creswell war memorial. Photograph courtesy of Peter Gillings
  • Joseph, Thomas and William Milner are commemorated on the Creswell war memorial. Photograph courtesy of Peter Gillings
    Joseph, Thomas & William Milner - Joseph, Thomas and William Milner are commemorated on the Creswell war memorial. Photograph courtesy of Peter Gillings
  • Joseph, Thomas and William Milner are commemorated on the Creswell war memorial. Photograph courtesy of Peter Gillings.
    Joseph, Thomas & William Milner - Joseph, Thomas and William Milner are commemorated on the Creswell war memorial. Photograph courtesy of Peter Gillings.