Reginald Tom Thornley

Reginald Tom Thornley was born in Lever Bridge, Bolton in 1890.

He was the son of Benjamin and Emily Mary Thornley of 64 Hilden Street, Haulgh, Bolton.

His father, Benjamin Thornley, was a Colliery Agent.

Reginald attended Bolton Church Institute from 11 September 1903 to not later than July 1908.

He appears on the 1911 Census as a clerk in a cotton spinning mill. He later worked as foreign correspondence clerk for Dobson & Barlow's in Bolton.

He married Ruth Eleanor Ralphs at St Stephen's Church, Lever Bridge, Bolton in 1916.

Their son, Reginald Colin Ralphs Thornley, was born in 1918 and attended Bolton Church Institute from 1930 to 1935.

Thornley family tree - pdf

Reginald's War

Reginald enlisted, like many others from Bolton, as Private 248840 in the Loyal North Lancashire Regiment in October 1914. He arrived in France on 12 February 1915.

He was commissioned as a 2nd Lieutenant on 25 January 1917 and was later promoted to Lieutenant. He was wounded at Ypres in July 1917.

He was killed in Action on 1 October 1918, probably at the end of the Battle of the Canal du Nord (27 September - 1 October 1918). The following phase of fighting was the Advance to Victory in Artois, leading to the Armistice only six weeks later.


Bolton Journal and Guardian
7 May 1915

Patriotic Bolton Families

Mr B Thornley, 64 Hilden-st., Haulgh, has three sons serving in the army, one of whom is at the front, and he sees to it each week that they receive a copy of the “Journal and Guardian”. The eldest son, Reg, prior to the outbreak of war, was employed at Messrs. Dobson and Barlow’s as a foreign correspondence clerk. He enlisted in the 5th L.N.L. Regiment in October, and whilst at Blackpool volunteered for foreign service, and then proceeded to France with the Battalion. When Dilworth and Barnes were killed a fortnight ago, he was only ten yards away. William, the second son, who was a clerk for a Manchester firm, joined the Royal Scots in October, and in January, after having spent the intervening time at Edinburgh Castle, was removed to Troon. He is attached to the signalling and transport section. The third son, Arthur, has had four years’ service in the 3rd East Lancashire 1st Field Ambulance (R.A.M.C.T.). He is at present at Southport and expects shortly to proceed to France. Up to the outbreak of war he was employed as an apprentice mechanic at Messrs. W. and C. Ainsworth’s Wellington Mills, Great Lever.

Bolton Journal and Guardian
25 October 1918

The wife of Lieut. REGINALD T. THORNLEY, who lives in Sheffield, has been informed that her husband was killed on October 1st. A son of Mr. and Mrs. B. Thornley, 64, Hilden-st., Haulgh, he joined the L.N.L. Regiment as a private in October 1914, and after serving in France was recommended for a commission, which he received last year. He was wounded at Ypres in July 1917. Educated at the Bolton Church Institute, he was formerly employed at Messrs Dobson and Barlow’s and was a member of the Bolton Operatic Society. He leaves a little son, born a week after he went to France, whom he has never seen.


Reginald Tom Thornley

Reginald Tom Thornley


1st/5th Battalion
The Loyal North Lancashire Regiment

Born: Lever Bridge, Bolton 1890

Died: France 1 October 1918

Link to CWGC Casualty Details

The Loyal North Lancashire Regiment

School Badge HomeNames 1914 - 1918 Names 1939 - 1945

Canon Slade School Contact us

Bolton Church Institute School War Memorial • 1914 ~ 1918