Harry Thornton (25/01/1897 - 18/08/1918)
ID: 12143
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Fullname: Harry Thornton
Born:25/01/1897 at Stoke-on-Trent, Staffordshire
Died:18/08/1918 Stoke-on-Trent, Staffordshire
Father: Thomas John Oliver Thornton (10/03/1864 - 03/04/1921)
Mother: Mary Ann Ballard (16/02/1862 - 01/05/1940)

Siblings: Louise Thornton
Kate Louise Thornton
Edith Ellen Thornton (17/12/1885 - 04/11/1963)
Thomas John Oliver Thornton (15/10/1891 - 10/01/1948)
Florence Thornton (12/08/1893 - 04/1969)
Kate Emily Thornton (06/1899 - 25/08/1900)
Sarah Ann Thornton (17/08/1900 - 21/08/1988)

Died of pneumonia in the great 'flu epidemic while on leave from Italy. According to #213 Sally it was a cold dull August. He died on a Sunday evening Army Service Corps Base H.T.Depot. Sentinel report of Mil. Funeral follows MILITARY FUNERAL AT BURSLEM

The Late Private Harry Thornton

The funeral of Pte. Harry Thornton, A.S.C, ( Motor Transport ) who died at his home, No 1 Lorne Street, Burslem, a few days after his arrival on leave from Italy, took place at Burslem on Wednesday afternoon, amid numerous manifestations of sympathy and regret.. Pte Thornton who was 21 years of age, and had seen service in France and Belgium before travelling overland to Italy, was formerly in the service of the Labour Exchange at Burslem. He was of a reserved., yet earnest disposition, and was very popular, and many letters of condolence have been received by his sorrowing father and mother, Councillor and Mrs. T. Thornton. Among those who have written are the Mayor (Alderman W. E. Robinson ), Colonel W.W.Dobson, Mr. W.. A. Cowlishaw, Mr L. L. Grimwade, and other members of the County Borough Council. The late Pte Thornton came home for a fortnight's leave, after an absence of 18 months, on Friday, the 9th inst, and was due to return to Italy tomorrow. Following the extreme change of climate and a rather long and rough journey home pneumonia developed and after a few days of unconsciousness he passed away on Sunday evening. A party of more than twenty members of the New Zealand Rifle Brigade attended the funeral and the officer in charge carried the deceased soldier's pith helmet. There was a preliminary service at St Werburgh's Mission Church, conducted by the Rev V. G. Aston, with the Rev. T.V. Roberts at the organ, and, in the course of a simple impressive service, at which there was a large attendance the hymns ''Brief life is here our portion" and "Jesu, Lover of my Soul" were sung.


The family mourners were: Councillor and Mrs. T. Thornton (father and mother), Mrs. R. Brelsford (sister), Mr. Tom Thornton (brother), Miss Flo Thornton (sisters) Miss Sallie Thornton (sister), Miss E. Whittingham (fiancee) Mr E. Whittingham, Mr W. Solesbury (cousin) Mr Reg. Roberts, and Mr. D. Solesbury (uncle). Others present included Mr. N. Parkes, Councillor E. T. Bird, Councillor Jabez Booth Councillor S. Clowes, Councillor J. Cooper, Councillor H. Saunders; Mr. R Nicholls and Miss Cheetham, from the Burslem Labour Exchange; Mr. H. Myatt, representing Parker's Burslem Brewery and the North Stafford Comforts Fund; Mr. F. Bettany and Nurse E. Bettany (Hamil House), Mr. J. R. Plimbley, Mr H. Hayward, Mr. John Phillips, Mr. Chas. Phillips, Mr. Geo. Slater (Hanley), Mr. H. Wallett, Mr. J. Glover, Mr. Geo. Payne, Mr. G. Ingleby, Mr. J. Hobson (Clarion Cycle Club), Mr. J. E.. Pritchard, Mr. W. Ford, Mr.W. Lawton, and Mr. W. Rofe. The cortege was headed by the soldiers with rifles reversed, and following was a gun carriage conveying the coffin, enshrouded with a Union Jack and entirely covered with wreaths. At the entrance to the cemetery the escort divided, and with heads bent over their upturned rifles, they formed a guard of honour. The Mayor (Alderman W. E. Robinson) met the mourners as they passed through the gates and placed a wreath on the coffin as a token of the esteem and sympathy of himself and the Mayoress. Along the winding path to the grave the soldiers walked behind the family mourners, and then they stood at attention by the graveside, to take their part in the sad ceremony - the paying of a nation's tribute to a worthy citizen. All along the line of route there had been large crowds of sympathetic neighbours of the bereaved family; and in the cemetery there was a very big concourse of people, who gathered around the scene as the Rev. V. G. Aston performed the last sad rites. Then three volleys were fired over the grave and two New Zealand buglers sounded the " Last Post."


Wreaths were sent by the following:

Father and mother; Edith and Sallie (sisters ; Tom and Flo (brother and sister); Mr. and Mrs. D. Solesbury (aunt and uncle) ; Miss E. Whittingham (fiancee): Mr. Reg Roberts ; the Mayor and Mayoress; the Burslem members of the Council; manager and staff of the Burslem Labour Exchanges; the staffs of the Hanley, Stoke, Longton and Newcastle Labour Exchanges; Mrs. John Weir; Dr. and Mrs Abcarius; Councillor and Mrs. J. Cooper; Mr and Mrs. Eccles; Mr. and Mrs. T. Johnson (Newcastle); Mr. and Mrs. J..R. Plimbley; Mr and Mrs. J. E. Pritchard; Mr. and Mrs. H. Proctor; Mr. and Mrs. H. Wallet.

Source probably the ' Sentinel ' , Thursday 22 August 1918. It reads as though the funeral took place on Wednesday 21st August 1918. 

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