Private, 33438, 1/8th Battalion, Royal Warwickshire Regiment
Died near Busigny, France, 9 October 1918, aged 36
He is buried in Busigny Communal Cemetery Extension, Grave V.A.2.

Busigny Communal Cemetery Extension, Nord region, France
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Thomas Humphrey was born in 1883, the son of George Young Humphrey (1847-1912), a farmer, and Dorcas (née Wheatley) (1851-1930). In 1911 he was living at Thornhill, Coleman's Hatch, aged 28, with his wife Ann Caroline (née Hudson), aged 33, and they had been married for six years. No children are recorded in that census. Thomas was listed as a farm labourer.

Thomas had two siblings, Harry and Hannah. Harry was recorded as a gardener, aged 26, in 1901 and as a farmer with three children and a servant in 1911. He lived at Moss Cottage, 1 Newbridge, Colemans Hatch with his family. Their servant was called Gertrude Hudson and could have been a relative of Thomas Humphrey's wife, Ann Caroline. Hannah, who was born in 1877, married George Mitchell in 1903. He was a greenkeeper at the Ashdown Forest Golf Course in 1911. George's brother was Albert Mitchell, who was killed in action at Méteren, France, on 19 April 1918, aged 33.

Thomas's mother was born Dorcas Wheatley in 1851. Her sister Lucy married Daniel Weeding in 1858 in Hartfield and their grandsons George Weeding and John Weeding died in the First World War and their case studies have also been written by the Ashdown Forest Research Group. Her brother Jesse, born in 1845 was the grandfather of Charlie Wheatley who died in 1919. A diagram has been prepared showing these complicated local kinship relationships.

Thomas's wife, Anne Caroline, was the daughter of John and Ann Hudson. Her father was a wheelwright and the Hudson family lived in Hartfield. Her mother's maiden name was Ann Weeding, born 8 September 1876 (there are links to several Weeding family members linked to the Hartfield War Memorial). Ann's father was Joseph Weeding.

Graves Registration Report Form containing Thomas Humphrey's name
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Thomas originally joined the East Kent Regiment, number 202826, enlisting at Horsham, but later transferred to the Royal Warwickshire Regiment, 8th Battalion. In 1917 the 8th Battalion left the Western Front where they had fought in the Battle of Ypres and fought on the Italian Front on the Asiago Plateau in north-east Italy. They returned to France in September 1918 and joined the 75th Brigade of the 25th Division and was involved in the Battles of the Hindenburg Line, the Battle of Cambrai 1918, the Pursuit to and Battle of the Selle, and the Battle of the Sambre.

Headstone Inscription Report containing Thomas Humphrey's name
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Thomas Humphrey was killed in the Battle of Cambrai. According to the 75th Brigade War Diaries:

"The Brigade was to advance from the crossroads between Serain and Prémont, following the line of the Estrées to Le Cateau road, to capture Maretz. 74th Brigade was to then push through and capture Honnechy. The Battalion was to be on the right of the attack, taking and holding the line near Trou aux Soldats, to the east of Maretz and south of the road, facing Butry Wood. The artillery barrage was to come down on Maretz at 05.20, lifting at 05.28.2 The barrage would then move forward at the rate of 100 yards every three minutes. The battalions moved forward through the mist in artillery formation on a two company front. In short, very little resistance was encountered and the Battalion reached its objective at 07.30, allowing 74th Brigade to pass through."

The 1/8th Battalion, The Royal Warwickshire Regiment, was brigaded with two fellow 48th Division units to form the new 75th Brigade.

Commemorated on Hartfield War Memorial.

Carol O'Driscoll