Thomas O'Connor

Information about birth

Date of birth:
Place of birth:
Birkenhead, Cheshire, England, United Kingdom

General information

Worker Shipyard, Cammell Laird, Special Constable

Army information

England, United Kingdom
British Expeditionary Force
Service number:
Enlistment place:
Birkenhead, Cheshire, England, United Kingdom
 —  Herefordshire Regiment, 5th Bn. attd. King's Shropshire Light Infantry, 5th Bn.  (Attached)

Information about death

Date of death:
Place of death:
Glencorse Wood, Zonnebeke, Belgium
Cause of death:
Killed in action (K.I.A.)


Tyne Cot Memorial
Panel: 154A

Distinctions and medals 2

Points of interest 3

#1 Place of birth
#2 Enlistment place
#3 Place of death (approximate)

My story

Private Thomas O’Connor served in the Herefordshire Regiment, 5th Battalion, but was attached to the 5th Battalion of the King’s Shropshire Light Infantry, part of the 42nd Brigade, of the 14th (Light) Division.
On the 22nd of August 1917 the Battalion took part in an advance by the 14th Division through Glencorse Wood. “A” and “B” Companies were positioned in Jargon Trench, with outposts as far as Glencorse Wood. “D” Company was in support at Jargon Switch and “C” Company functioned as a reserve in Ignorance Trench.
At zero hour “A” and “B” Companies were the first to jump-off. They advanced through Glencorse Wood and quickly captured their objective throughout the line. Only the right flank wasn’t captured, because the parties on the right had to maintain connection with the 43rd Brigade, which was held up by machine gun fire from Fitzclarence Farm.
The going had been hard. Both Companies had to face heavy German machine gun fire. Within five minutes of the advance “B” Company, on the left, had lost almost all its officers. Consequently the line had been broken on several places and “B” Company needed to be reorganized by a Captain from “D” Company. Communications between the two Companies were restored, but “A” Company, on the right, was no longer in touch with the 43rd Brigade. Casualties kept stacking up and more officers were sent up to replace the fallen or wounded officers in the frontline. By noon at least a fourth of the Battalion was killed, wounded or missing. Notwithstanding the heavy casualties the Battalion held the line, and managed to establish contact with the 43rd Brigade on the right.
During the night the Germans launched a heavy counterattack on the 43rd Brigade, which was fend off with the help from machine guns of the King’s Shropshire Light Infantry, 5th Battalion. The Battalion held its ground till it was relieved on the night of the 23rd and 24th of August 1917. The Battalion had suffered heavy casualties. Twenty men were killed, and 111 men were wounded; twelve men went missing.
Private Thomas O’Connor was killed in action on the 22nd of August 1917, while the King’s Shropshire Light Infantry 5th Battalion advanced through Glencorse Wood. His remains were not recovered and he is remembered on the Tyne Cot Memorial.

Files 1

Sources 5

"The History of the King's Shropshire Light Infantry in the Great War", Wood B., London, The Medici Society. LTD, 1925, pg. 156-159.
Sources used
Further reference
Sources used
The Long, Long Trail
Sources used
War Diary King’s Shropshire Light Infantry 5th Bn.
Further reference