Edward Linford Thorogood
3646 Private, 3/28th Battalion, London Regiment and 8th Battalion, Manchester Regiment, later Lieutenant, 2/8th Battalion (attached 6th Reserve Battalion), Lancashire Fusiliers
1897, St Pancras – 3rd September 1918
Grave I.A.15, Le Grand Beaumart British Cemetery, Steenwerck
Lives of the First World War entry
He was baptised at Holy Trinity, Haverstock Hill on 26th September 1897. His parents were Edward William Stanley Thorogood (1855, Islington) and Ellen Ann Linford Beale (1858, St Pancras). They had married in the St Pancras district in 1894. Edward senior was a carpet planner living at 54 Clarence Road in the parish of Holy Trinity in 1901 and at 21 South Villas, Camden Square in 1911. They only had one other child, Florence Linford Thorogood (1892, St Pancras), who had become a dressmaker’s assistant by 1911. Edward senior was serving as an adjutant and later captain of the Church Lads’ Brigade at St Michael’s around 1908.
Edward junior attended University College School, where he joined the Officer Training Corps. He was confirmed at St Michael’s and acted as a server at both weekday and Sunday services and as a thurifer. He appears on the parish magazine’s March 1915 list of those already serving, though his service record only shows him as enlisting on 12th April 1915 aged 17 years and 7 months. At that time he was still living with his parents at 21 South Villas. He was 5 foot 7 inches. On 25th November 1915 he was appointed an Acting Lance Corporal and on 2nd December that year he was commissioned as a Second Lieutenant. A letter to his mother from his commanding officer after his death stated he was “an officer who was one of the most efficient and conscientious I have ever had under my command…. I can only repeat what the men said of him: ‘He asked no one to go where he would not go himself’ ”.
The letter was published in the October 1918 parish magazine and also described the circumstances of his death whilst “commanding his company in a difficult and trying attack”, including the following quotation from the chaplain:
The battalion had advanced and done really wonderful work on Monday evening, Sept. 2, and he was killed by a shell which wounded four men at the same time, early on the Tuesday morning, Sept. 3. His death was undoubtedly instantaneous. He had been in command of his company since we last came in the line, and you will have heard from the CO what a fine officer everybody thought of him. But (what counts perhaps for more) I wish you could have heard the way his men spoke of him when they told me of his death yesterday. I have lost in him a true friend. He was always present at our Eucharist whenever it was possible, and several times he has served me at the Altar. Always cheerful, he showed what a true Christian ought to be, and talking to him sometimes it was easy to see what a real devout chap he was. I buried him this morning, September 4, with one of my men, in a cemetery not far from here, and we shall have a cross put over the grave. May God give rest to his gallant soul. I pray that God may comfort Mr Thorogood and yourself.”
The parish magazine writer added “He had a very strong sense of duty, and his life and death have shown us that there lay hidden beneath the surface, as so often happens in our boys, a very real love of God and a single-hearted devotion to his Church and his country.”.
His probate record shows him leaving £132 5 shillings and 2 pence to his father. The November 1918 parish magazine carried a letter from his mother to the parish magazine: “Dear Friends at St Michael’s, – Mr Thorogood and I wish to thank you for all the kind thoughts and expressions of sympathy shown to us in our bereavement. “The Communion of Saints” will have a deeper and stronger meaning to us than ever before, through your sympathy. – I am, yours very sincerely, ELLEN THOROGOOD”. By the time of his death his parents were living at ‘Roslyn’, 5 Amersham Road, Harrow.