Reginald Samuel THORN


THORN, Reginald Samuel

Service Numbers: 3621, 3621B
Enlisted: 1 August 1915, Acting Corporal on enlistment
Last Rank: Private
Last Unit: 10th Infantry Battalion
Born: Cavenagh, South Australia, 24 August 1888
Home Town: Broken Hill, Broken Hill Municipality, New South Wales
Schooling: South Broken Hill Public School, NSW
Occupation: School Teacher in Broken Hill, NSW
Died: Killed in Action, Pozieres, France, 24 July 1916, aged 27 years
Cemetery: No known grave - "Known Unto God"
Part VI
Memorials: Adelaide National War Memorial, Australian War Memorial, Roll of Honour, Broken Hill War Memorial, Parramatta NSW Public School Teachers KIA Honour Roll, Villers-Bretonneux Memorial (Australian National Memorial - France)
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World War 1 Service

1 Aug 1915: Enlisted AIF WW1, Corporal, SN 3621, Acting Corporal on enlistment
12 Jan 1916: Involvement SN 3621, 27th Infantry Battalion, Pozières
12 Jan 1916: Embarked SN 3621, 27th Infantry Battalion, HMAT Borda, Adelaide
28 Feb 1916: Involvement AIF WW1, Private, SN 3621B, 10th Infantry Battalion
24 Jul 1916: Involvement Private, SN 3621B, 10th Infantry Battalion, Pozières

Help us honour Reginald Samuel Thorn's service by contributing information, stories, and images so that they can be preserved for future generations.

Biography contributed by Julianne Ryan

Born 24 August 1888, in Cavanagh (district of Peterborough), South Australia
(SA Birth 1842 - 1906 Book: 424 Page: 182 District: Fro.)

Father John Samuel Thorn (b. __ - d. 1930)
Mother Mary Ann Thorn (nee Bishop) - (b. __ - d. 1922)
           (both buried at Broken Hill Cemetery, Plot: METH M4, Row L, Grave 21)
Reginald lived with his parents and siblings on enlisting,
at Blende Street North, Broken Hill, NSW

Sister:  Elsie Thorn

Next of kin in service (brother)
2238    Private Arthur Thorn - 10th Infantry Battalion - b. 21/06/1886
           he had lived at Port Pirie, SA
           he was 29 years of age, a metallurgical chemist prior to enlisting
           02/06/1915  enlisted
           21/09/1915  embarked Outer Harbour onboard HMAT Star of England
                              as a Private with 4th Reinforcements, 27th Battalion
           05/11/1916  killed in action at Fleurs, France - NO known grave
           His name is commemorated on:-
                 - the Australian National Memorial, Villers-Bretonneux, France
                 - Panel 111 at the Australian War Memorial, Canberra, ACT

Reginald was a School teacher in Broken Hill, NSW before enlisting.

Described on enlisting as 27 years of age; 5' 10" tall; 134 lbs;
dark complexion; brown eyes; dark hair; Congregational

31/08/1915    enlisted in Adelaide, SA

31/08/1915    appointed to A Comapny, 2nd Depot Battalion, Exhibition Camp

12/01/1916     embarked Outer Harbour, SA onboard HMAT A30 Borda
                     as an Acting Corporal with 27th Infantry Battalion, 8th reinforcements

27/02/1916     allotted to and proceeded to join 10th Battalion, ex 7th Training Battalion,

28/02/1916    reverted to the rank of Private on joining the 10th Battalion, C Company
                     from 27th Battalion, at Serapeum

27/03/1916    proceeded to join British Expeditionary Forces, ex Alexandria
                     with his brother Private Arthur Thorn
03/04/1916    disembarked into Marseilles, France

He became a signaller because of a "deep repugnance to even the thought of taking a life".

23/07/1916    Reginald wrote a letter to his mother on this day
                    (found the next day in his pocket):
                    'My darling Mother and all at home,
                     We are on the eve of a very great battle, and no man of us knows whether
                     or not he may be in this world this time tomorrow. This may, therefore, be
                     my last farewell here, but I know that God will support you, whatever befalls.
                     We have no fear, and we should all be thankful to possess the assurance that
                     our partings here are only temporary, and that we shall at last meet in a better
                     and happier world. Should any of your own fall, do not grieve for us, but be
                     thankful that our rest is come, as will that for us all, sooner or later, and when
                     we meet again our present trials will seem quite insignificant compared with the
                     future joy. Remember, darling mother, that our end will most likely be unconscious,
                     and hence painless. Should we fall, and, although we have seen the awfulness of
                     the worst part of the battlefield, we go without fear, commending our loved ones
                     at home, who are perhaps called upon to make the great sacrifice of loved ones
                     to God's merciful care. Remember His sacrifice for us.
                     - Ever your loving son, Reginald Samuel Thorn.'

24/07/1916    Reginald was killed in action this very next day
                     during the First Battle of Pozieres, Somme, France  (27 years young)

He had no known grave - after all the continued battles.

His name  is commemorated at:-
                     - the Villers-Bretonneux Memorial, Villers-Bretonneux, France
                     - on Panel 60 at the Australian War Memorial, Canberra, ACT

Medals:         British War medal (31748), Victory medal (31525)
                    Memorial Plaque and Scroll (306104)

Submitted by Julianne T Ryan.  30/01/2017.  Lest we forget.