1914-15 Star, (3982 Pte. S. Thomas. H.A.C.) British War Medal, Victory Medal, (2. Lieut. S. Thomas.) Memorial Plaque. ( Sydney Thomas.) 2nd Lieutenant Sydney Thomas.11th (Cambridge City) Battalion, Suffolk Regiment, late Honourable Artillery Company. EF
Sydney Thomas, a native of Cardiff, was employed as a bank clerk with the London Provincial Bank in Caerphilly. He enlisted on 5 July 1915 as a private in the Honourable Artillery Company in which his elder brother was also serving. He was reported as a fine athlete and the best shot in the battalion. On 10 October 1915, he embarked at Southampton and joined his unit in France some days later. Thomas was commissioned Second Lieutenant on 7 May 1916 and was posted to the 11th (Cambridge City) Battalion of the Suffolk Regiment, which he joined three days later. He was killed in action on the first day of the Battle of the Somme, 1 July 1916. The Battalion War Diary for 1 July 1916 reads: ‘7:28 a.m. The mine opposite left of 101st Brigade was exploded. 7:30 a.m. The infantry assault was launched. The Battalion followed the 10th Lincolns from our assembly trenches down into Sausage Valley and across to the German lines. Owing to the failure of the 102nd Brigade on the left to capture La Boiselle, our advance from the moment it left our assembly trenches was subjected to a very heavy fire from machine guns from La Boiselle. In spite of the fact that wave after wave were mown down by machine gun fire, all pushed on without hesitation, though very few reached the German lines.’
Thomas has no known grave and is commemorated on the Thiepval Memorial, France. Sold with an original letter from the War Office Accounts Department, dated 4 October 1916, detailing the monies due to his estate after his death, showing a total of forty nine pounds one shilling and eleven pence, this amount including a deduction of eleven pounds and five shillings for pay over-issued 2-31 July 1916; and copied research, including a photograph.