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Thomas Caton

Date of death: 12.8.1917
Area: Pontefract
Regiment: Royal Field Artillery
Family information: Son of Mr & Mrs Robert Caton of Mill Cottages, Featherstone
Rank: Bombardier
Service number: 27409

War Service

“Mr & Mrs Robert Caton of Mill Cottages, Featherstone, have lost a fine son, but their sorrow will surely be tempered by the fact that he died bravely at the post of duty and had won a good name as “a soldier and a man.” Bombardier Thomas Caton, the second son of Mr & Mrs Caton, was 28 and in September of 1914 he left his work at Snydale Colliery and joined the RFA in the cause of right against might, freedom against oppression. He paid the extreme price on August 12th, having some six weeks earlier been home on leave and, it is said, “never looked better.” His parents have had most sympathetic letters from his major, his lieutenant and his sergeant. The last named, Sergeant W Strachan, wrote – “He died at his post … being killed by a shell bursting on the top of the dug-out. The same shell killed two others and wounded two. I … feel his loss very much; he was one of my best men. Nothing seemed too much for him. I had only to suggest to him what was wanted and leave the rest in his hands … We buried him on the 14th in a small cemetery behind our line … His loss is very much felt in the battery, especially amongst those who were at Aldershot together. Tom was with me since the beginning and besides being a good soldier he was a good pal and I feel his loss very much … he was highly esteemed by officers and men and I speak for all who know him when I say that … we feel his death greatly. We join in sending you our heartfelt sympathy.” Other officers have written also. One says that the deceased was killed by shell concussion instantaneously. He was got out of the dug-out in a few seconds time but life was extinct. He “was always reliable; never shirked his duty. Accept my deepest sympathy and that of all the officers and men of the battery.” Another officer says – “he was one of the best air-scouts and spent many hours on the watch. He suffered no pain … Accept my sympathy and that of many others,” etc.”
Extract taken form the Pontefract and Castleford Express 31.8.1917.
He is buried at The Huts Cemetery.

Sepia photograph of The Huts Cemetery with rows of gravestones The Huts Cemetery

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