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Thomas, Matthew

Killed in action, December 30th, 1915. The college has to deplore the loss of another member of the staff in the person of Captain Thomas, who was well known to students in the Faculty of Science. After his preliminary education at the Grammar School, Wigan, Mr. Thomas entered the Day Training Department of this College in 1909. During the next three years he displayed much ability both as a teacher in training and as a student of science. He graduated with first class honours in Physics in 1912, and won the Layton Research Scholarship in the University. Accordingly he pursued research under Professor Barkla during 1912-13, and in the latter year he succeeded Mr. Chapman as Mathematical Tutor in the Faculty of Engineering. He was very popular and successful in this capacity. When Professor Barkla went to Edinburgh, Mr. Thomas who was greatly devoted to him, naturally looked to the north for a further step in his own career. It came in 1914 with the offer of a post at Edinburgh which would have enabled him to continue his research under his chief. The outbreak of war, however, suspended this opportunity and, as the sad event was to prove, brought it to nought.

Mr. Thomas at once obtained a commission, having already served in the University O.T.C. He was gazetted to the 7th Loyal Lancashire Regiment and speedily made his mark. Promotion followed and in the summer of 1915 he received his captaincy. He then married, his wife being a graduate in Philosophy at Bedford College. Captain Thomas was sent to France very shortly afterwards and only returned on short leave in November last. Returning to the front, he was killed in action on December 30th. He was only 25 years old. While we mourn for the loss of so promising a career to science, we grieve more for the cutting short of a life so sunny and manly, so deservedly dear to his wife and relatives, with whom we deeply sympathise. To Captain Thomas "life meant intensely and it meant well." Keen student, he was keener man. A fine sportsman, he delighted in music, enjoyed poetry and revelled in religion with a robust and joyous glee that was an inspiration to all who knew him. He had a genius for friendship and although an ardent Catholic, his greatest chum was an equally ardent Non-conformist, the late Captain Leonard Robinson, also of this College. They were lovely in life, and although they fell on different fronts, in death they were not divided. In silence we sorrow, but we are proud and grateful in the abiding memory of such true and gallant gentlemen. A.A.C., King's College Review, June 1916

Biographical

Surname(s)Thomas
First name(s)Matthew
Family detailsSon of Matthew and Margaret Thomas of Wigan. Husband of Gladys Thomas
Previous educationGrammar School, Wigan
CollegeKing's College London and/or King's College London Hospital
Dates at college1909-1912
Dept / courseScience, Physics
QualificationsB.Sc. (1st Class Hons.) 1912. Layton Research Scholarship.
Military unit7th Loyal North Lancashire Regiment
War / conflictWorld War One (1914-1918)
Date of death30 December 1915
Age at death25
Rank at deathCaptain
Place of deathNear Bethune
Cause of deathKilled in action
Burial placeLe Touret Military Cemetery, Richebourg-L'Avoue
Commemoration(s)King's College Chapel; War Memorial, St. Bridget's R.C. Church, Isleworth
NotesDemonstrator in Chemistry Lab. Home address - 9 Talbot Road, Isleworth, Middlesex
SourcesKing's College London Archives; Commonwealth War Graves Commission

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