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Polygon Wood centenary commemoration

Thomas Gowland
Queen's Own (Royal West Kent Regiment)

December 12, 2016

While visiting the Somme battlefields in France, I received a Royal British Legion remembrance collection 2016 booklet. When looking into it, I saw so many things I'd like to order, but one thing especially caught the eye, the Somme 1916 Poppy lapel pin. This lapel pin is an exclusive tribute to those who fell during the Battle of the Somme in 1916. The pins are crafted using brass fuses from British shells fired during the battle, while the enamel paint contains earth from the British front line, meaning each one contains the very essence of the historic battlefield.
Each pin commemorates a soldier that fell during the Battle of the Somme, my pin commemorates Serjeant Thomas Gowland. Although this isn't really an adoption grave, I do see him as my first adopted British soldier.


Thomas Gowland was born in Houghton-le-Spring in 1890. Houghton-le-Spring is a town in North East England, which has its recorded origins in Norman times.

Gowland was a coal miner before he joined the war. Houghton used to be a well-known mining town in the county of Tyne and Wear.

Houghton-le-Spring, United Kingdom

Thomas Gowland was married to Lenora Marshall Moore Probert. They had one son, Anthony Gowland.

Thomas Gowland
Sergeant, British Army
Service # G/18241
11th Battalion, Queen's Own (Royal West Kent Regiment)
Enlisted in Newcastle-on-Tyne

Royal Kent West Regiment

Born: September 1890 in Houghton-le-Spring, Durham

Died: October 11, 1916
Status: died of wounds

Buried in: Plot IV, row A, grave 81, Heilly Station cemetery Méricourt-l'Abbé, France

Wife: Lenora Marshall Moore Probert (1892-1965)
Anthony Gowland (1914-1996)
Anthony Gowland (1859-1945)
Mother: Dorothy Ellen Davison (1863-1935)
Brothers: Thompson (1882-1974), Anthony (1896-?)
Sister: Jane (1884-1974), Margaret (1888-1981), Elizabeth (1894-?), Mary (1896-1905), Dorothy (1899-?), Kate (1902-?), Elsie (1907-?)

More information

He originally enlisted the RAMC in December 1914, a coal miner.

He joined the 10th Bn Royal Fusiliers in Newcastle on June 12, 1915. He went to France on August 30, 1916.

Then he joined the 11th Royal West Kent regiment on September 14, 1916.

Thomas Gowland died of wounds at the 36th Casualty Clearing Station on October 11, 1916.

He leaves a wife, miss Lenora and a son Anthony in South Moor, County Durham.


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