Lieutenant-Colonel Frederick William Thomas

9th Bhopal Infantry, Indian Army

Died: 26th January 1916
Age: 45

Frederick William Thomas, son of Major-General Thomas, entered in 1880, at the age of ten.

It has not been possible to ascertain the date of his leaving, which is omitted from the College Register. His first commission was in the Manchester Regiment, from which he transferred to the Indian Army in 1893. In 1901 he became Captain in the 44th Infantry. Later he was promoted Major and was Second in Command of the 9th Bhopal Infantry. Becoming Lieutenant-Colonel in 1915, he commanded the Regiment in Mesopotamia, and was so severely wounded that he died at the beginning of 1916.

The above text appeared in the Victoria College Book of Remembrance published in 1920.

Lt-Col. Thomas is one of the very few entries in the Book of Remembrance without a photograph. The lack of a photograph is perhaps indicative of the scant details which were known at the time to be recorded by the Book. Lt.-Col. Thomas died in Mesopotamia (now Iraq) in January 1916 having been wounded in the Battle of The Wadi a couple of weeks earlier. He is buried in the CGWC cemetery at Amara in Iraq, but is recorded as Lt-Col. T. W. Thomas, and the photo used above  is of that cemetery (courtesy CWGC). The cemetery itself was destroyed in the Gulf War and is awaiting rebuilding when more peaceful times return to that country, and it is therefore not possible to visit at the moment. The CWGC website entry can be found at,%20T%20W

An entry in a book called “A List of Inscriptions on Tombs and Monuments in Rajputana and Central India with biographical notes” by O. F. Crofton quotes an inscription in Sehore Church which gives a little more information:

F. W. Thomas, 44th Merwaris, joined Bn. from 27th Dec.  1914 as 2nd in Command. Second Battle of Neuve Chapelle.  Buried by a shell on the La Bassee road May 1915 and was six months in Bhopal. Re-joined in Mesopotamia in command  of Bn. Wounded in the action of the Wadi 13th Jan. and died  of wounds 26th Jan. 1916.