Thomas BOSTON

Poppy

BOSTON, Thomas

Service Number: 3250
Enlisted: 16 August 1915, Adelaide, South Australia
Last Rank: Corporal
Last Unit: 50th Infantry Battalion
Born: Mount Schank, South Australia, 2 December 1892
Home Town: Naracoorte, Naracoorte and Lucindale, South Australia
Schooling: Mount Schank Public School
Occupation: Baker
Died: Killed in Action, Noreuil, France, 2 April 1917, aged 24 years
Cemetery: Noreuil Australian Cemetery
(F. 41.) Noreuil Australian Cemetery, France.
Memorials: Adelaide National War Memorial, Australian War Memorial, Roll of Honour, Naracoorte War Memorial, Naracoorte and District Town Hall Honour Board WW1, Port MacDonnell War Memorial
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World War 1 Service

16 Aug 1915: Enlisted AIF WW1, Private, SN 3250, Adelaide, South Australia
27 Oct 1915: Involvement AIF WW1, Private, SN 3250, 10th Infantry Battalion, Enlistment/Embarkation WW1
27 Oct 1915: Embarked AIF WW1, Private, SN 3250, 10th Infantry Battalion, HMAT Benalla, Adelaide
26 Feb 1916: Transferred AIF WW1, Private, 50th Infantry Battalion
12 Aug 1916: Involvement AIF WW1, Private, SN 3250, 50th Infantry Battalion, Pozières
12 Sep 1916: Promoted AIF WW1, Lance Corporal, 50th Infantry Battalion
23 Nov 1916: Promoted AIF WW1, Corporal, 50th Infantry Battalion
2 Apr 1917: Involvement AIF WW1, Corporal, SN 3250, 50th Infantry Battalion, German Withdrawal to Hindenburg Line and Outpost Villages

The Boston Brothers… Together Forever

Thomas and Angus Boston enlisted to join World War One on 16 August 1915. They were standing next to each other in the line as they were given consecutive service numbers, 3249 and 3250 for Angus and Thomas Boston respectfully. They would both serve in the 50th Battalion for some time before both calling France there home forever-more.

Angus, the eldest of the two brothers was born and was living in Naracoorte at the time of his enlistment in 1915, aged 26. He stated on his enlistment form that he was married to Mrs Cecilia Boston and by trade was a labourer with his religion listed as Presbyterian.

Thomas, although living at Naracoorte, was born at Mount Schanck near Mount Gambier in South Australia’s south east at his enlistment, aged 22. He was single and his occupation was given as a baker whilst he said his religion was also Presbyterian.

Both of the Boston Brothers were allocated to the same unit. They embarked together at Outer Harbourer on 27 October 1915 on board HMAT Benalla (A24) as part of the 11th Reinforcements of the 10th Battalion. After arriving in Egypt and undergoing a period of brief training in the dessert they were transferred to the 50th Battalion. This move was part of the AIF’s expansion and consolidation process in which they formed 2 new Divisions from 4 Brigades.

More time was spent with the 50th Battalion in Egypt training. Finally, the 50th Battalion was re-located to the Western Front disembarking at Marseilles on the Southern French coast on 12 June 1916. From here they entrained and were taken north.

The first battle the 50th Battalion would face was at Mouquet Farm near Pozieres on the Somme. Beginning in July the campaign would rage on or weeks. Even after the first five weeks of fighting there Australian units had suffered 23,000 causalities – its highest ever recorded in that given period. For the 50th Battalion they attacked the enemy twice when they were in the front lines from 12 August to 16 August 1916. Thomas Boston survived the ordeal without injury, however, Angus Boston sustained a gunshot wound to his right arm on 16 August. He was evacuated out of the line and withdrawn to England for further medical treatment where he was admitted to several hospitals during his stay.

Meanwhile, Thomas Boston had been promoted to the rank of Lance Corporal in September 1916 and then Corporal in November 1916. The Boston Brothers saw in the New Year in two different countries.

Angus Boston, fully recovered from his wound proceeded overseas to France on 16 January 1917 and re-joined the 50th battalion, meeting his brother, Thomas, on 28 January 1917. In early February 1917 the German army began retreating from its front line to the much consolidated Hindenberg Line. To achieve a ‘clean break’ thus minimising causalities the German army had left behind various isolated fortified positions and fortified towns now known as the Outpost Villages. The positions were guarded until the bulk of the German army had passed them and the allies had suffered some causalities from trying to capture them.

The 50th Battalion, in April would attack one of these Outpost Villages called Noreuil. Although initial gains were made causalities were high due to isolated Machine Guns nests on the approach to the village. After these were finally taken the 50th Battalion proceeded until it nearly reached its objective where it met stiff resistance. Causalities continued to mound quickly for the 50th Battalion which was been attacked on two fronts: in front and behind. Only when reinforcements were committed to the attack did the 50th Battalion gain to upper hand.

Tragically, however, both of the Boston Brothers were killed in the Attack on Noreuil on the 2 April 1917. By family anecdote, it is suggested that one of the Boston Brothers was mortally wounded, shot, whilst the other brother was killed in action whilst attempting a rescue.

The Boston Brothers were both identified and buried in a new cemetery just out of Noreuil, now called Noreuil Australian cemetery. Angus’ grave, however, was later subsequently destroyed by artillery fire and he now has a special memorial grave within the cemetery with the title ‘known to be buried in this cemetery.’ Thomas’ grave, however, remained intact.

Although far from home in Naracoorte, both of the Boston Brothers, Angus and Thomas, served together and now have a new home where they will be together forever only separated by several other tombstones…

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Biography contributed by John Edwards

"...3250 Private Thomas Boston, 10th Battalion. A baker from Naracoorte, South Australia, prior to enlistment with his older brother 3249 Pte Angus Boston, they embarked with the 11th Reinforcements from Adelaide on 27 October 1915 aboard HMAT Benalla (A24) for Suez. In late February 1916 they were both transferred to the 50th Battalion which relocated to the Western Front, France early the following June. Pte Thomas Boston was appointed Lance Corporal in mid-September 1916 and promoted to Corporal in late November. Both brothers were killed in action at Noreuil on 2 April 1917. Cpl Thomas Boston is buried in the Noreuil Australian Cemetery. He was aged 25 years." - SOURCE (www.awm.gov.au)

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