Philip Lewis (Phil) THOMAS

THOMAS, Philip Lewis

Service Number: 2171
Enlisted: 10 April 1916, Toowoomba, Queensland
Last Rank: Private
Last Unit: 42nd Infantry Battalion
Born: Toowoomba, Queensland, 25 April 1875
Home Town: Toowoomba, Toowoomba, Queensland
Schooling: Toowoomba Grammar School
Occupation: Ranger (Crown Land)
Died: Died of wounds, France, 20 June 1917, aged 42 years
Cemetery: Trois Arbres Cemetery, Steenwerck, Nord Pas de Calais
I P 41, Trois Arbres Cemetery, Steenwerck, Nord Pas de Calais, France
Memorials: Australian War Memorial Roll of Honour, Brisbane 42nd Infantry Battalion AIF Roll of Honour, Department of Public Lands Brisbane Roll of Honour, Drayton War Memorial, Toowoomba Grammar School WW1 Honour Board, Toowoomba Grammar School WW1 In Memoriam Honour Board, Toowoomba St James' M2, Toowoomba War Memorial (Mothers' Memorial)
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World War 1 Service

10 Apr 1916: Enlisted AIF WW1, Private, 2171, 42nd Infantry Battalion, Toowoomba, Queensland
7 Sep 1916: Involvement AIF WW1, Private, 2171, 42nd Infantry Battalion, Enlistment/Embarkation WW1, --- :embarkation_roll: roll_number: '18' embarkation_place: Brisbane embarkation_ship: HMAT Clan McGillivray embarkation_ship_number: A46 public_note: ''
7 Sep 1916: Embarked AIF WW1, Private, 2171, 42nd Infantry Battalion, HMAT Clan McGillivray, Brisbane
10 Jun 1917: Wounded AIF WW1, Private, 2171, 42nd Infantry Battalion, Battle of Messines, Shell wound (buttock, leg, abdomen)

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Biography contributed by Faithe Jones

Word was received in Toowoomba yesterday that Private Phillip Lewis Thomas, a well-known Toowoomba citizen, and a one-time cricketer, had died in England.  The deceased soldier enlisted about seven months ago, and prior to volunteering he held a position of land ranger in Toowoomba.  He is survived by a widow and six children.

It was with sincere regret that the news was learnt yesterday of the death in Hospital in England of Pte. Phillip (Phil") Lewis Thomas, he having succumbed to wounds. Pte Thomas was a highly respectable citizen of Toowoomba and a true stamp of a  patriot for despite the fact that he was 40 years of age and sacrificing all the happiness and conlfort of his wife and six children  he offered his services in December of last year, and sailed for the front early in 1917. He had been away about six months, and  during that period he had seen much heavy fighting in France. He was educated at the Toowoomba Grammar School and upon  his leaving joined the staff of the Union Bank. After some time he severed his connection with banking circles and accompanied  Mr. McDowall, as a surveyor, to Central Queensland. In that portion of the State he entered the Lands Deparment and was  subsequently transferred to Toowoomba, where he was employed as a land ranger up to the time of his enlistment.

On the sporting field the genial "Phil" was best known and his ability as a first rate cricketer went without saying. He was a good  all-round man and many interesting stories are to be told as to his prowess, but the one which is related by old-time cricketing enthusiasts with most pleasure is that when "Phil" scored 85 against Stoddart's English eleven in their match against  Toowoomba's eighteen in 1897. The match was commenced on, it is thought Thursday--the exact day could not be remembered  by the narrator--and the English wickets fell cheaply, thanks to the splendid bowling of Cuffe and Ram-say. On November 30, or thereabouts, Toowoomba went to the creases and wickets began to fall rapidly and cheap. Thomas went in with the third wicket  down and played the bowling until the close of the day. On the resumption he at once 'collared' the bowling and treated it  unmercifully. The match was played on the old sports grounds, now known as the Athletic grounds, and "Phil" pasted the bowling of Hirst, Broad, Mason, Briggs, and Druce about at his will. Batting from the Arthur-street end he faced Hearne, who was bowling with an 'off' break. Thomas got under one and with his great hitting power sent the leather clean over the tennis court over  Mary-street, and on to a house near where Mr. Harding now lives. It was a great hit and has never since been equalled. When he tally stood at 85 he was caught by Broad off Hirst. As he retired to the tent--there was no. pavilion those days--he was accorded  a regular ovation, no one joining in more heartily than the Englishmen. When he reached the tent Prince Ranjisinghi walked over to him and congratulated him, expressing his admiration at young Thomas' hitting, and wondering where he got his strength  from. Strange to say when "Ranji" went in he was caught by Thomas off Campbell for none. That bit of his play is still fresh in  the minds of many who will be sorry to hear of his death.

The late Pte. Thomas was a brother of Fred Thomas, of Spring Creek, with whom Mrs. Phil Thomas now resides, and for whom  the deepest sympathy will be felt.


Biography contributed by John Edwards

Son of Alfred and Jane THOMAS.  Husband of Annie H THOMAS of 'Ardeen', Spring Creek, Drayton, Qld.

"...Philip Lewis Thomas, of Toowoomba, Qld. He later enlisted as a Private in the 42nd Battalion, AIF, with the regimental number 2171 on 10 April 1916. Pte Thomas embarked from Brisbane aboard HMAT Clan McGillivray on 7 September 1916. He died on 20 June 1917, after being wounded at Messines, Belgium, aged 42." - SOURCE (