HAYES, Thomas Pte. 15442

Thomas Hayes would appear to have been born in Eccleston in 1888, the son of Elizabeth and Henry Hayes of Parr Lane, Eccleston; they had ten children.

Private Thomas Hayes was wounded in the arm and leg on the 16th August 1916 – the Battalion War Diary recording that the Pals were in a front line trench named “Vine Street” in the Neuve Chapelle sector and mainly carried out Patrol work. He was admitted to No. 7 CCS (Casualty Clearing Station) at Merville on the 17th and then moved to the 3rd Canadian General Hospital in Boulogne on the 19th; he returned to England on the 21st August, staying on home soil until early 1918.

He returned to France on the 6th February 1918, with the 1st Battalion of the East Lancashire Regiment. On the 9th April 1918 Thomas was gassed when the Germans launched a major offensive along a wide front, codenamed ‘Operation Michael’. He was treated at St. Omer (on the Belgium – France border) and then at the 2nd Canadian General Hospital at Le Treport on the French coast; he returned to his unit within a fortnight after a spell convalescing at Etaples.

Later in the year, between the 6th and 9th September, he was wounded in the shoulder, receiving treatment at the 54th CCS (Casualty Clearing Station) at Aire-sur-Lys before being shipped back to England to the 2nd Southern General Hospital at Coleshill near Birmingham. He was at Prescot near Liverpool on the 21st December and Heaton Park near Manchester on Christmas Eve.

Private Hayes of the 1st Battalion, East Lancashire Regiment eventually left the Army on the 20th January 1919, returning to Bradley Lane in Eccleston. His discharge papers stated that he had worked as a Weaver at C. Liver in Eccleston before enlisting in 1914.

Other Information: For the record, the third Thomas Hayes from Eccleston on the 1911 Census lived with his aunt, Harriet Blackburn on The Green in the village, being born in 1887; he worked as an Insurance Agent. Why it would appear not to be him is that the Hayes service records [faded that they are] showed that Thomas Hayes gave his mother as his next of kin in 1918, living at Bradley Lane].

Records held on the Lancashire BMD (Births, Marriages & Deaths) website show a Thomas Hayes married Agnes Ann Baybutt at St. Mary’s the Virgin Church, Eccleston in 1928].