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Capt Arthur de Bells Adam (MC)
1885 - 1916


CPL David Wallace Crawford
1887 - 1916


Lce-Corpl John Joseph Nickle
1894 - 1916


Pte 17911 Morton Neill
1897 - 1916


Lieut Edward Stanley Ashcroft
1883 - 1918
Lieut Edward Stanley Ashcroft

2nd Lieut Thomas Hanson Averill


  • Age: 22
  • From: Great Witley, Worcs
  • Regiment: The King's (Liverpool Regiment) 17th Btn
  • K.I.A Thursday 30th August 1917
  • Commemorated at: Dranoutre Mil Cem
    Panel Ref: II.J.25
Thomas Hanson Averill was born on 21st December 1894 and was baptised 20th January 1895 at Worfield. He was the son of Leonard Rockford and Anne Averill (nee Slater) of Great Witley, Worcestershire. 

He attended the King Charles I school in Kidderminster between 1907 - 1909.

The 1901 Census shows the family living at Deansford Farm, Kidderminster, Worcestershire.

The father Leonard aged 48, born 1853 is a farm bailiff and was born in Kings Bromley, Staffordshire. His wife Anne is aged 46, born 1855 in Crewe and has no occupation listed. They have two children at the time of the Census, Charles aged 12, born 1889 in Derby and Thomas aged 6, born 1895 in Bridgenorth Shropshire.   


The 1911 Census Thomas Hanson is aged 16, at school, and living with his uncle at Mayfield Avenue, Stratford-Upon-Avon 


Soon after the outbreak of war he joined the Army Veterinary Corps and was commissioned in April 1917. He joined the 17th Battalion of The Kings Liverpool Regiment reaching the rank of 2nd Lieutenant on 26th April 1917. Details appeared in the London Gazette on 16th May 1917. 

He joined the Battalion as a reinforcement (with 5 other officers and 62 men) on 16th June 1917, when it was at Poperinghe, on the Ypres Salient. He was assigned to ‘A’Company. At the time of his death on 30th August 1917,the Battalion was stationed at Dranoutre near Ypres in Belgium, and although it was in the rear, it was sending companies forward for work details to the front line trenches. During the course of one of these work details, Second-Lieutenant Averill and a NCO, 57673 Lance Sergeant A J Johnson, were killed, although the exact cause of their death is not certain. Thomas was aged 22 and he now rests in Dranoutre Military Cemetery. His headstone bears the epitaph:

"THERE IS NO DEATH. CLOSER IS HE THAN BREATHING. NEARER THAN HANDS AND FEET".

The words were taken from Tennyson's poem The Higher Pantheon.

Sergeant Johnson rests next to him.

The Commanding Officer of the Battalion, Lieutenant – Colonel T S Rendall, wrote of him to his parents:

”I and all the officers and men of the Battalion feel your sons death most keenly; he was always a keen hard working and cheerful officer. We shall all miss him very much, as he was very popular and was such a genuine, straightforward man, always reliable---one whom, in these times, we can ill afford to loose”.

Birmingham Post 8th Sept 1917

SEC. LIEUT. T. H. AVERILL (KILLED)

Second Lieutenant Thomas Hanson Averill, King's (Liverpool) Regiment, killed in action, on the 30th ult., was the youngest son of Mr and Mrs Averill of the Home Farm, Great Witley, Worcester, and 22 years of age. He joined the Army Veterinary Corps soon after the outbreak of war, and received his commission in April last. He proceeded on active service in June.

 

Witley (Worcs) Parish Magazine October 1917

"All who know him will feel a sense of personal loss on hearing that Thomas Hanson Averill has been killed in action. His was so bright and attractive a personality that we do not wonder at the affectionate way in which his brother officers have written about him. For him one cannot feel sorry at all, for his parents one cannot feel sorry enough; although they have so much reason to be proud of such a son."



Thomas is commemorated on the Great Witley War Memorial and also on the King Charles I School Memorial, Kidderminster.

Soldiers Effects to his father Leonard Rochford and pension to his mother Anne. 

 

Probate awarded 26th Nov 1917 tohis father Leonard Rochford Averill.



Grateful thanks are extended to Sandra Taylor for the photograph and biographical details for Thomas.