From the property Auburn, to the west of Ross, Thomas enlisted in September 1916, at the age of 29. He shipped to England at the end of 1916 but was hospitalised with pneumonia on arrival and never saw active service. Doctors declared him medically unfit in March 1917, and he was returned to Australia.
In 1913, Thomas had suffered a depressed fracture to his skull which caused him some paralysis in his limbs, and to have fits. It also affected his memory. It is not clear how Thomas passed his medical examination at enlistment.
After the war, Thomas and his wife Louise farmed first in the Meander district and then in the Scottsdale area. Louise died in 1946 and Thomas just four months later.
This image shows Thomas’ signature from his enlistment papers, although we don’t have a photo of Thomas.
Thomas’ story is part of our exhibition: Our Grateful Thanks and Loving Remembrance, a moving and deeply personal exhibition remembering the soldiers whose names are immortalised on the Ross War Memorial.