2nd Lieutenant Thomas Dixon Stocks

A white circle with a glove crossing it's fingers and the words: Made Possible with Heritage Fund.This man is a candidate for addition to Keighley's Supplementary Volume under the proposal to add further names in 2024, the centenary of the original roll of honour.
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Supported by the National Lottery's Heritage Fund, our project intends to submit about 120 names for peer review to add them to the book which is kept at Keighley Library. The unveiling of the book with it's new names is planned for November 2024, 100 years after the unveiling of the original war memorial.

Second Lieutenant. 2nd Battalion, Duke of Wellington's (West Riding) Regiment.

A black and white portrait of a British Army officer in uniform. He is not wearing a cap and is facing the camera.

Second Lieutenant Thomas Dixon Stocks.

Thomas's mother and father were James Isaac Stocks and Emily Stocks née Dixon and they were both aged 33 when they were married on 1st February 1893 at St, James's Church in Steeton.

Early life:

Thomas was born in Bingley (registered in Keighley) 15th April 1896. The son of James Isaac, and Emily Stocks, of Silsden, he was baptised at All Saints Church, Bingley on 13th May 1896.
In the 1901 Census he was aged four and living with his grandmother Mary Ann Stocks at Airedale Villa, Silsden and probably went to a junior school there. In September 1904 he started at Keighley Trade and Grammar School for three years until 1907, when he moved to Bradford Grammar school where he completed his education in 1912 after five years, when he would have been 15. He also attended Bradford Technical College. In the 1911 census Thomas was aged 14 and living at Croft House in Silsden with his parents and brother James, aged 17 years.

War service:

On 6th December 1915 he joined the Westmorland and Cumberland Yeomanry at Penrith as a trooper on December 6th, 1915. He trained at Kendal, and later in Scotland. In November 1916 he joined a cadet corps at Lichfield. On February 18th 1917, he was posted to the Duke of Wellington's West Riding Regiment at North Shields and received his commission in March of the same year, having been gazetted as a Second Lieutenant that month. He went out to France a few weeks later. He served with them for just over year before he was wounded in action and died of his wounds on 15th April 1918, aged just 22 years. Thomas was buried at Gonnehem Churchyard, France, 50 miles South East of Calais.

War Diary entry:

2nd Battalion West Riding Regiment war diary entry for 15th April 1918: LE VERTANNOY. 15.
The battalion moved forward to the CANAL BANK (proceeding via BERNENCHON) preliminary to making a joint attack with the WARWICKS on PACOUT WOOD.
At 6 pm the Battn commenced to cross the bridge, PONT LEVIS Q32c.7.8. (Sheet 36c SE) to get into position to attack the wood from the WEST, the WARWICKS attacking it from the South and S.E. The operation was not a success. Officer casualties were, KILLED, 2ND LT HUGHES J.W., HESKETTS, J., DIED OF WOUNDS, 2 LT. STOCKS, T.D., WOUNDED, CAPT J.S. BROWNING MC, 2 LT'S N.C. CALDWELL MC, H.G. CARD, W.H. ROY, A.G. HENDERSON AND A. KING. OTHER RANKS. WOUNDED 179, MISSING 7, 32 KILLED.

Keighley News report dated 20th April 1918:

Second Lieutenant Thomas D. Stocks, West Riding Regiment, younger son of Mr and Mrs James L. Stocks, Airedale Villa, Silsden, has died of wounds in France. Lieutenant Stocks, who enlisted early in the war, was granted his commission in March 1917, and went to France the following month. He began his education at the Keighley Trade and Grammar School, and later was a student at the Bradford Grammar School and also the Bradford Technical College. His brother, Captain J. Stocks is also serving with the colours.

Scouting connections:

These were printed in the Obituary from the 'Keighlian' Magazine produced by Keighley Trade and Grammar School in 1918 (now Oakbank School).
THOMAS DIXON STOCKS. 2nd. Lieut. West Riding Regt.
Thomas was a Silsden boy, the son of Mr. James I. Stocks. He was at School from Sept. 1904, later continuing his education at the Bradford Grammar School. Before the war, he showed a keen interest in the Boy Scout movement, more especially with the younger boys. In this he was associated with the late Sergeant Rowland Hill, another Old Boy who has made the supreme sacrifice. He joined the Westmorland and Cumberland Yeomanry at Penrith as a trooper on December 6th, 1915. He trained at Kendal, and later in Scotland. In November, 1916, he joined a Cadet Corps at Lichfield, and was posted to the West Riding Regiment at North Shields on February 18th, 1917. He went to France a few weeks later.
He died of wounds received on April 15th, 1918. Many fine tributes to his devotion to duty and sterling character were written to his parents by those associated with him. They all show that he was well liked by his fellow officers, and greatly respected by his men. Our sincere sympathy is extended to his parents and brother, Captain James Stocks, who is also fighting in France.

He is remembered on the Silsden War Memorial and in the 'Keighlian' magazine Roll of Honour.

James and Emily were both aged 61 when they were living at Airedale Villa in Silsden during the 1921 census. James was a worsted spinning manufacturer (Employer). Also living with them was their other son James aged 27, who was assisting his father in the family business. He was served in the Great War and survived.
Thomas's parents both died aged 65 in 1924, James dying on the 1st May and Emily on the 3rd December of that year.
They were buried in the family grave at Silsden St. James Churchyard, which also has a war memorial inscription dedicated to Thomas. It reads:
'Also of their second son Thomas Dixon Stocks, 2nd Lieut. 2nd Duke of Wellington's W.R. Regt. who died of wounds April 16th, 1916, aged 22 years, and was interred at Gonneheim, Bethune, France.'

Information sources:

West Yorkshire, England, Church of England Marriages and Banns, 1813-1935
England & Wales, FreeBMD Birth Index, 1837-1915
West Yorkshire, England, Church of England Births and Baptisms, 1813-1910
1901 England Census
1911 England Census
British Army WWI Medal Rolls Index Cards, 1914-1920
WWI Service Medal and Award Rolls, 1914-1920
Soldiers Died in the Great War, 1914-1919
Commonwealth War Graves Commission
England & Wales, National Probate Calendar (Index of Wills and Administrations), 1858-1966
Army Registers of Soldiers' Effects, 1901-1929
Find A Grave.com
National Archives WWI War Diary WO-95/1481/3
Keighley News archives at Keighley Library
Keighlian Magazine
1921 census
England & Wales, Civil Registration Death Index, 1916-2007
West Yorkshire, England, Church of England Deaths and Burials, 1813-1985
England & Wales, National Probate Calendar (Index of Wills and Administrations), 1858-1995

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