Thomas Lackenby Ditchburn

Thomas Lackenby Ditchburn possibly

Thomas Lackenby Ditchburn is possibly one of these soldiers

Thomas Lackenby Ditchburn was born 1897 in Sunderland. He was the son of John Ditchburn born 1870 in Wallsend and Margaret, born 1872 in Gateshead.

John was a general labourer. By the 1911 census John had died, leaving Margaret with 6 children. Thomas Lackenby Ditchburn and his brother Aaron were working as office boys.

From the Northern Echo site is the following information about Thomas: Employed by the North Eastern Railway for four years as an Apprentice Boilersmith in North Road Works. Member of the Friends' Adult School, Class 9, Skinnergate. 

Thomas joined the 2nd Battalion, King's Own Yorkshire Light Infantry and became Lance Corporal, 23061. He had formerly been in the Durham Light Infantry, 9991.

Thomas was killed January 25, 1916 and is buried in Aveluy Communal Cemetery, grave C.16.

Thomas's elder brother Aaron has a poignant entry in his war diary about his brother's death: My Dearest Brother was buried on the 26th of Jan. killed by a sniper. How we will all miss him at home for he was a dear one. My mother was bad with the terrible shock.

Thomas is commemorated on the War Memorial at War Memorial Hospital, Hollyhurst Road, Darlington. He is also commemorated on the newly restored marble memorial stone from the former Park Terrace Presbyterian Church in Gateshead. This is now at St Mary’s Church Heritage Centre.