PRIVATE THOMAS PETER ELLIOTT
EAST SURREY REGIMENT
27TH APRIL 1915 AGE 21
BURIED: SANCTUARY WOOD CEMETERY, YPRES, BELGIUM
Am I alone in thinking this a half-hearted inscription? Who was the Mr Herbert Elliott who confirmed it? He lived at 8 Cheshunt Road, Green Street, Forest Gate, E7 but he wasn't Private Elliott's father as Thomas Hyde Elliot was dead, and so it seems was his mother, Mary Jane.
Thomas Elliott was 17 and one month when he joined the Territorial Forces on 21 May 1909. In answer to the question, 'In whose employ are you?' he answered, 'My own', giving that employment as 'porter'. At the time he was living at 51 Fernlea Road, Balham and gives no family members.
In April 1915 the 2nd Battalion East Surrey Regiment were in the trenches at Zonnebeke taking part in what has become known as the Second Battle of Ypres. The Battalion War Diary for the 27th/28th April records: "Brigade asked to send up some force to drive enemy from captured portion. Casualties to noon. Thirteen killed one died of wounds and nineteen wounded." One of these would have been Private Thomas Elliott who "did his best".