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William Lewis Back to War Memorial Richard Williams
Thomas was born in 1894 in Trawsfynnyd, Merionethshire, to Maurice Robert Morris and his wife Margaret. However, when the 1901 census was taken the six year old Thomas was living with just his mother and his two brothers, at Pengwern Fach, Llangynog. Sadly, Thomas’ father died in 1903 at the age of 39. In the 1911 census we find Thomas back in Trawsfynnyd, with his mother and his younger brother. Now he is 16 years old and an apprentice joiner.
Thomas enlisted in April 1915, at Blaenau Festiniog, joining the 17th battalion of the Royal Welsh Fusiliers as a machine gunner. His enlistment record informs us he was 5ft 3in tall and weighed 10 stone, with chest measurement as follows: girth when fully expanded 35”, range of expansion 2”. Obviously, the twenty year old Thomas was quite short and slight of build.
After a period of training his battalion was sent to France on 4th December sailing from Southhampton to Le Havre. They travelled by train, then marched, then bus and then marched again until they reached billets in Hamet. There they stayed for some eleven days before seeing their first active service in the trenches.
At first they operated under a system of two days in the trenches and two days resting. Later the system was revised to four days in the trenches and four days resting. This state of affairs lasted some five months, right through winter and into spring. On Christmas Day there were church parades, during which wet weather prevailed. The war diary also informs us that on the 5th May, the men had baths at La Gorge. The baths had a capacity of 100 men per hour. A clean change of underclothing was given to each man, and soiled clothing was sent to the laundry.
On the 6th May the men had firing practice on the rifle range prior to being sent to the trenches near Robermitz for four days. Tragically, on the third day in the trenches, Thomas Morris was killed. He died on the 12th May at just 21 years old. He is buried at Rue-Du-Bacquerot Cemetery, Laventie, France.