HAYES, Thomas Cpl. 15441

Thomas Hayes went to Caernarvon with the Pals in February 1915 as a Private. Thomas was promoted to Corporal during his time with the Chorley Pals and he may well have been wounded with them at Serre, as his service number was changed to 35414 upon being transferred to the 7th Battalion of the East Lancashire Regiment.

One page of his service record has been mixed-up and entered with Private 15442, Thomas Hayes. However, it shows that this Thomas Hayes was transferred to the 7th Battalion on the 29th November 1916. He was treated at the 57th Field Ambulance facility whilst on active service on the 26th March 1917, spending 5 days in hospital behind the lines. On the 10th November 1917 he was granted 14 days leave back to the U.K., being back with his unit on the 17th January 1918.

The solitary page of his service record clearly shows water damage from the Blitz in 1940 and is hard to read (even when computer scanned and enhanced), however it would seem to indicate that he was wounded in action – possibly in February 1918. What is known from his medal index card in the National Archives is that he finished his Army service as Corporal 62390 with the Manchester Regiment.

As to his identity, the one page of his service record clearly shows that he enlisted on the 18th September 1914, age 20 years and 2 months – making him born in 1894. There are four Thomas Hayes on the 1911 Census from Chorley, with three from Eccleston; not helping the research is the fact that both the Thomas Hayes who enlisted in the Chorley Pals did so on the same day, 18th September 1914, and were given sequential service numbers. However, the only Thomas Hayes born in 1894 in the Chorley area was the eldest of seven children of Harriet and William Hayes; they lived at Whalley House End in the village in 1901 and Grove Crescent in Eccleston in 1911.