Veness, Thomas William


Thomas William Veness

Rank: Lance Corporal

Regiment: B Squadron, 9th Lancers

Address: 124 Old Lane, Hollington

Parents: Mr Thomas William and Mrs Annie Mariah Veness

Brother: Arthur H Veness

Brother-in-Law: Charles W Lynch

Other Info: At the front in October, killed in action on October 18th. According to CWGC, Thomas was 20 years old when he died and is remembered at the Sanctuary Wood Cemetery, grave reference III.K.25/27.

Published: October 1914 & November 1914

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2 Replies to “Veness, Thomas William”

  1. Something from my British Expeditionary Force on the Western Front page on Facebook that may be of interest, as it gives the circumstances in which L/4000 Lance-Corporal Thomas William Veness was killed:

    In Graves 25/27 in Row K of Sanctuary Wood Cemetery are the remains of six members of the 9th (Queen’s Royal) Lancers who were killed at Le Gheer on 18 October 1914, when “B” Squadron was caught in the open and were fired on by a German machine gun. Originally buried opposite the Convent at Le Gheer, their graves were exhumed in 1928 to Sanctuary Wood Cemetery.

    The death of L/1528 Lance-Corporal Ernest Matthews was reported in The Hull Daily Mail on 4 November 1914:


    “News has been received at Malton that Lance-Corporal Ernest Matthews, of the 9th Lancers, son of Mr and Mrs Matthews, of Love-lane, Norton, Malton, was killed in action on October 18th.

    Only a week or two ago Lance-Corporal Ernest Matthews told his parents of the death of his brother, Private Harold Matthews, who was in the same regiment. The latter was digging trenches on Sunday September 20th when he was killed by a German shell. His brother arrived at Paisey (sic – Paissy), where the incident occurred, and, two days later, secured the body, and with the assistance of some comrades buried it in Paisey churchyard, erecting a heap of stones over the grave and putting a bottle with the deceased’s name in thereon.

    An official notification from the War Office has now been received.”

    L/1529 Private Harold Matthews also served with his brother in “B” Squadron of the 9th (Queen’s Royal) Lancers. In spite of the precautions taken by his brother when he buried Harold in the churchyard at Paissy, Private Matthew’s body was not identified after the war and he is commemorated on the La Ferte-sous-Jouarre Memorial.

    Ernest and Harold were the sons of Henry and Rachel Matthews. Harold, who was aged 23 when he was killed, was married and his widow, Mabel, lived at Sledmere. The register entry for Ernest Matthews for Sanctuary Wood Cemetery does not have any information on his next-of-kin, perhaps indicating that his parents may have died by the time the details were being collected.

    L/4000 Lance-Corporal Thomas William Veness also died in the same action. A comrade, L/392 Lance-Corporal Fred Britt, wrote to Thomas’s parents to convey the news of their son’s death:

    “I am sorry to tell you poor Tom Veness is killed. His Squadron got into a very hot corner. They were advancing across open country, and were within 800 yards of a house when suddenly a burst of fire from three machine guns of the enemy created havoc in the ranks. The enemy, however, did not get it all their own way, for a few minutes later a shell from one of our guns burst close to the house, and about six or seven others followed, blowing the house to pieces, but without hurting the Germans who were inside with the guns, for as soon as the first shell burst they moved out as quickly as they could and took cover in trenches.”

    Before leaving for the front in August 1914, Lance-Corporal Veness had written to his sister while at Tidworth:

    “I suppose you know that we are mobilised and ready to move to the Front at any minute. Everybody is in the highest spirits over it. No one would think to look at the faces of the soldiers down here that we are expecting to go to war. Will you please tell mother not to worry about me,for, after all, what did I join the Army for, and what is the use of being a soldier if we shirk the work we are trained to do? You may be sure that I will take great care of myself if we do have to go, and perhaps you will have cause to be proud of your brother soon.”

    Tom’s parents, Thomas and Annie, lived at 124 Old Lane at Hollington.

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