Thomas William HORNBY

HORNBY, Thomas William

Service Number: 4196
Enlisted: 8 September 1915
Last Rank: Private
Last Unit: 4th Infantry Battalion
Born: Singleton, New South Wales, Australia, 30 November 1890
Home Town: Rockdale, Rockdale, New South Wales
Schooling: Wickham Superior Public School, Wickham, New South Wales, Australia
Occupation: Boilermaker
Died: Killed In Action, France, 9 April 1917, aged 26 years
Cemetery: Hermies Hill British Cemetery
III. D. 20. Personal Inscription A LOVING SON IN GOD'S KEEPING
Memorials: Hamilton St. Peter's Anglican Church Honor Roll, Hamilton War Memorial, Haymarket NSW Government Railway and Tramway Honour Board
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World War 1 Service

8 Sep 1915: Enlisted AIF WW1, Private, 4196, 4th Infantry Battalion
20 Dec 1915: Involvement Private, 4196, 4th Infantry Battalion, --- :embarkation_roll: roll_number: '8' embarkation_place: Sydney embarkation_ship: HMAT Aeneas embarkation_ship_number: A60 public_note: ''
20 Dec 1915: Embarked Private, 4196, 4th Infantry Battalion, HMAT Aeneas, Sydney
21 Jul 1916: Wounded AIF WW1, Private, 4196, 4th Infantry Battalion, Shell wounds to head and hand. Sent to hospitals in France and England.

Help us honour Thomas William Hornby's service by contributing information, stories, and images so that they can be preserved for future generations.

Biography contributed by Evan Evans

From Gary Mitchell, Sandgate Cemetery
Let us remember a Fallen soldier of The Great War memorialised at Sandgate Cemetery.

107 years ago today, on the 9th April 1917, Private Thomas William Hornby, 2nd Battalion (Reg No- 4196A), boilermaker from "Toronto", King Street, Rockdale, New South Wales, was Killed in Action at Bullecourt, France, age 26. Cause of death unknown.

No Australian Red Cross Wounded and Missing File.

Born at Singleton, New South Wales on the 30th November 1890 to William (died 6.9.1923, Hamilton, N.S.W., age 65) and Mary Jane Hornby (died 22.7.1938, Newcastle, N.S.W., age 72) of 4 Wilson Street, Hamilton, New South Wales, Tom enlisted on the 8th September 1915 as William with the 4th Battalion at Sydney, N.S.W.

Unit embarked from Sydney, New South Wales on board HMAT A60 Aeneas on the 20th December 1915.
Wounded in action - 21.7.1916 (GSW head, slight, left hand).

Invalided to England 26.7.1916.

Rejoined Unit from wounds 7.2.1917.

Mr. Hornby is resting at the Hermies Hill British Cemetery, France. Plot III Row D Grave 20.

Place of Association - Newcastle, New South Wales, Australia.

Tom, or William’s name has been inscribed on the Hamilton (Gregson Park) War Memorial, Hamilton Municipal District Roll of Honor, Wickham Superior Public School Roll of Honour, Hamilton St. Peter's Anglican Church Honor Roll, St. Peter's Church Memorial Trees, Book of Gold, NSW Govt Railways and Tramways Roll of Honour, 1914-1919 and The Capt. Clarence Smith Jeffries (V.C.) and Pte. William Matthew Currey (V.C.) Memorial Wall.

I have placed poppies at the memorialised Hornby gravesite in remembrance of the service and supreme sacrifice of their son Tom for God, King & Country. ANGLICAN 1-59. 99.

Contact with descendants would be greatly appreciated.

For more detail, see “Forever Remembered “

Lest We Forget.


Biography contributed by John Oakes

Thomas William HORNBY (Service Number 4196A) was born in Singleton on 30th November 1890.  He joined the NSW Government Railways as an apprentice boilermaker at Honeysuckle Point workshops, Newcastle, in July 1907. In September 1912, after his apprenticeship had ended, he transferred as a boilermaker to the Eveleigh workshops in Sydney. 

In September 1915 he enlisted in the AIF in Sydney.

He had 13 months experience in the Militia. He was made an acting Corporal on his enlistment. He was sent from Sydney, aboard HMAT ‘Aeneas’, with reinforcements in December 1915.  On joining the 2nd Battalion in Egypt in February 1916 he reverted to the rank of Private.  In March 1916 he was sent to France with his unit.  He spent three weeks in April at a casualty clearing station being treated for ‘I.C.T. feet’  [Inflammation of Connective Tissues].

On 21st July 1916 he was wounded in action (shell wounds to head and hand) and was sent to hospital in France and then in England. He was discharged from hospital in November 1916.  He returned to France and re-joined his battalion in January 1917. 

On 9th April 1917 he was killed in action.

On the morning of 9th April 1917, the village of Hermies was seized by a surprise attack of the 2nd and 3rd Battalions.  21 men of the 2nd Battalion who fell on 9th April were buried north-west of the village in Hermies Australian Cemetery.  Hornby is believed to have been among them.  After the war, they were exhumed and re-interred with many other fallen soldiers in the Hermies Hill British Cemetery, which had commenced in November 1917.    

- based on the Australian War memorial Honour Roll and notes for the Great Sydney Central Station Honour Board.