FORMBY Thomas Hope

Known information

Thomas Hope Formby never knew his only child. His daughter Angela was born four months after he was killed in France during the Battle of the Somme. His father Charles had been the vicar of Ridlington but died in 1894 when Thomas was just five years old. The family stayed in the village until his mother Elizabeth remarried and moved to Surrey. Thomas was educated at Peterhouse College, Cambridge and served in the Officer Training Corps. When the First World War broke out he joined the 1st Battalion Cambridgeshire Regiment and was killed on 13 October 1916, aged 27. His battalion was occupying a former German strongpoint known as the Leipzig Redoubt near Thiepval and were preparing for an attack on another strongpoint, the Schwaben Redoubt. The battalion war diary records: "We had bad luck today. Lt Formby and 2nd Lt Scott being killed by a shell while reconnoitering the country around Thiepval preparatory to the battle." We assume his original grave was lost during subsequent fighting and today he is remembered on Pier 16B of the Thiepval Memorial. Thomas' promotion to Captain was announced in the London Gazette after his death. Even though he had moved from Ridlington he is still remembered on the war memorial there inside his father's church, and on the side of his father's grave in the churchyard. It is a red marble memorial found on the left hand side behind the church. Two of Thomas' uncles and his aunt's husband all also died in the First World War and all four of them are remembered on a special tablet inside the church in Formby on Merseyside where the family originally came from. He had married Kathleen Ross in London in 1915, a year before he died. Their daughter Angela never married and she and his widow both died in 1987.

See where all our Rutland soldiers died during the Battle of the Somme on our interactive map.

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  • T H Formby 2
  • T H Formby medal
  • Ridlington Church
  • Ridlington Memorial
  • Ridlington churchyard
  • T H Formby memorial 1
  • T H Formby memorial 2
  • Thiepval Memorial
  • Pier 16b
  • T Formby

User contributions

This is a photo of Thomas Hope Formby (Lieutenant, Cambridgeshire Regt)
By moaningminnie on Sunday 24th May '15 at 6:20pm
Felsted School Records:Thomas Hope FormbyCaptain, The Cambridgeshire Regiment1914-15 Star British War Medal Victory MedalThomas Hope Formby was born 20th Mar 1889, son of Old Felstedian Rev Christopher Hope the Vicar of Ridlington (Son of Myles Lonsdale of Salcombe, Devon, born at Sampford, Devon. Felsted School 1872-1880) Prefect. Adm. pens. St Peter's Coll Camb Oct 1 1880; Matric. Michs. 1880; BA 1884. Ord. deacon (Colchester, Litt. dim. from St Albans) 1884; Priest 1885; Curate of St Leonard's, Colchester 1884-6 and of Algarkirk with Fosdyke, Lincs., 1886-9. Rector of Ridlington, Uppingham, from 1889-92 until his death, 28 Nov 1894) and died when he was five.Thomas lived in Ridlington as a young child until his mother remarried and moved to Surrey. Attended Felsted school 1902 Jan to 1907 Dec. St Peter's College, Cambridge, 1909. He married Kathleen Ailsa Hope (nee Ross) in 1915 and his address was Claremont, The Commons, Sutton Surrey. He never met his only child Angela who was born four months after he was killed.WWI: Captain 1st Bn., Cambs Rgt. Killed in action in France during the Battle of the Somme October 13 1916.He was commissioned into 1st Battalion, The Cambridgeshire Regiment, and saw active service in France and Flanders from 10 August 1915. He was killed in action at Thiepval, France, on 13 October 1916. His uncle, Captain Myles Lonsdale of The Wiltshire Regiment died in the same battle. Another uncle, Lieutenant Richard William RE was killed at Le Transloy, France, on 16 February 1917.He is remembered on the Thiepval Memorial, Departement de la Somme, Picardie, France. The Memorial is the Memorial to the Missing of the Somme and bears the names of more than 72,000 officers and men of the United Kingdom and South African forces who died in the Somme sector before 20 March 1918 and have no known grave. Over 90% of those commemorated died between July and November 1916. He is also commemorated in the Formby Chapel in St. Lukes Church in Formby, Merseyside, England, on Formby's civic war memorial and St Mary Magdalene and St Andrew's Church Cemetery, Ridlington, Rutland.
By Jules Wallis on Wednesday 27th May '15 at 5:18pm

Rutland and The Battle of the Somme

More than 90 Rutland soldiers died in the Battle of the Somme which lasted from 1 July 1916 until the middle of November. Today they lie in cemeteries across the old battlefield in northern France or are remembered among the 72,000 names on the Thiepval Memorial to the Missing of the Somme. By using our interactive map, you can find out what happened to them.

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