Thomas enlisted in November 1915, at the age of 28. He was married to Ella May and they lived in Sydney with their two children. Thomas was working as a labourer. The Rawnsleys were a family of quarrymen with Thomas’ father and grandfather both working in Ross quarries. Thomas’ father lived in a stone house on Park Street.
Thomas arrived in France in November 1916 and, as well as serving in the front line, he was also, at various times, attached to the Mobile Veterinary Section, the Road Maintenance team and in administrative duties at HQ. He returned to Australia in 1919.
Thomas had been living in the Ringarooma district when he died in 1942. He is buried at Ross.
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.