Biography of Private Thomas Kettle, (50186)
15th battalion Sherwood Foresters (Notts and Derby Regiment)
Died 29th October 1917


  • Name: Thomas Kettle
  • Date of birth: 1884
  • Place of Birth: Bourne, Lincolnshire, England
  • Date of Birth Registration: April – June 1884
  • Place of Birth Registration: Bourne, Lincolnshire, England


  • Name: William James Kettle
  • DOB: 1841
  • Place of Birth: Little Bytham, Lincolnshire, England
  • Occupation: Agricultural Labourer


  • Name: Mary Sandall
  • DOB: 1843
  • Place Of Birth: Morton, Lincolnshire, England
  • Marriage: 10th October 1866 Bourne

Siblings: (Name), (DOB), (POB)

  • John William Kettle, 1867, Bourne
  • James Kettle, 1868, Bourne (Died 1868)
  • Sarah Ann Kettle, 1869, Bourne (Died 1871)
  • Edward Kettle, 1871, Bourne (Died 1871)
  • Arthur Albert Kettle, 1872, Bourne (Died 1887 Age 14)
  • Mary Elizabeth Kettle, 1874, Bourne
  • Richard Partridge Kettle, 1876, Bourne
  • Charles Robert Kettle, 1877, Bourne (Died 1879)
  • Rebecca Kettle, 1879, Bourne
  • Walter Kettle, 1882, Bourne
  • Thomas Kettle, 1884, Bourne


  • 1891 Census:
    Thomas is living with his mother in Beds House Bank, Bourne, Lincolnshire
  • 1901 Census:
    Thomas can not be found yet
  • 1911 Census:
    Thomas is living in Taylor Family in Long Sutton, Wisbech, Lincolnshire. The census gives him an age of 24 and he is listed as a labourer on farm.
Relatives in services

  • None found


  • No marriage for Thomas has been found and we can assume that he never had the opportunity to marry.

Newspaper Mentions

  • War Office Weekly Casualty List December 4th 1917
    Kettle 50186 T. (Spalding)


  • The Grimsby News Friday December 7th 1917
    Sherwood Foresters
    Kettle, T. (Splading)

Military Records

Attestation Papers

  • None found

Soldier’s Died In The Great War

  • These records show that Private Thomas Kettle, 50186, 15th Battalion Notts and Derby (Sherwood Foresters) Regiment was killed in action on 29th October 1917 in the Western European Theatre in France and Flanders.

Pension Records

  • None found

Effects Left To

  • Sister Mary E Cook


  • The British Medal
  • The Victory Medal


  • UK:
  • Bourne, Bourne War Memorial in the Memorial Gardens

© Picture taken by South Lincolnshire War Memorials

© Picture taken by South Lincolnshire War Memorials

Military Service Timeline

  • Thomas’ war records have not been found and like 60% of all WW1 records they are believed to have been destroyed in the Blitz when the warehouse containing them was bombed.

    It is known that Thomas enlisted in Lincoln and was posted to the 15th Battalion Sherwood Foresters (Notts and Derby Regiment). Thomas was not entitled to a 1915 star and so we can assume that he first saw service abroad with the battalion after 1915. The 15th Battalion was a bantam battalion and took men who were 5ft 3inches and under. This normally meant that the men posted to the Battalion were physically very strong and usually came from a labouring or mining background.

    As we are not sure when Thomas was posted abroad we can only look at his last month with the regiment with any certainty that he was part of the actions that are described in the Battalion Diaries.

    Although the 15th battalion were ordered to Egypt in late 1915, this was cancelled and their first overseas posting was in February 1916 to France where the Battalion fought in the Battle Somme.

    We take up the story on the 1st October 1917 in the middle of the 3rd Battle of Ypres also known as the battle of Passchendaele. The Battalion had spent most of the year in the sector near Peronne, previously being in are Arras area.

    1st October 1917 – Aizecourt Le Bas
    Battalion conveyed to Peronne in Motor Lorries. Transport moving by road.

    2nd – 3rd October 1917 – Peronne
    Resting and refitting,. Battalion entrained at Peronne at 12 midnight 23rd inst. en route for XVII Corps area and detrained at Arras at 4-30am. 4th inst. proceeding by march route to billets at Warlus. Part of the battalion transport under command of 2nd Lieut R.T Wright. proceeded by road halting on the night of the 3rd inst at Bapaume and continuing march on the 4th inst. arrived at Warlus at 12 noon.

    3rd to 12th October – Warlus
    Re-organization of Companies and Battalion training.

    13th October – Warlus
    Battalion (Less “Z” Cmpany.) entrained at Arras Station at 12-54pm and detrained at Cassel at 8-30pm marching to billets at Arneke.

    Ltr “Z” Company entrained at Arras at 8-54pm and detrained at Cassel at 3am 14th inst.

    15th October – Arneke
    Battalion (Less transport) entrained at Arneke at 12 noon and detrained at Proven about 2-30pm marching to D4 camp

    16th October – Proven
    Entrained to Proven at 12 noon and detrained at Elverdinghe.
    Battalion relieved 1st Scots Guards at Rugby Camp. Transport moved by road and occupied camp near Woeston.

    17th to 20th October – Elverdinghe
    Reconnaisance of line South of Houthulst Forest preparatory to attack.
    Furnishing of working parties to assist in preparing forward gun positions.

    20th October
    At 5pm Battalion moved to Gouvy Farm near Boesinghe

    21st October
    Battalion moved to assembly positions as supporting Battalion to 105th Brigade in general attack on morning of 22nd inst on enemy positions South of Houthulst Forest.

    22nd October
    Operations South of Houthulst Forsest

    Casualties from 21st to 23rd
    Killed – 1 officer, 15 other ranks
    Wounded – 1 officer, 160 other ranks
    Missing – 1 officer, 20 other ranks

    24th October
    Relief of Battalion by 19th Durham Light Infantry completed at 3am Companies moved out independantly to billets at Larry Camp near Elverdinghe.

    25th to 28th October – Elverdinghe
    The Battalion relieved 5th Border Regiment in right sector Divisional Front by 7-30pm
    Enemy very quiet whilst relief was taking place. Between 9pm and 11pm enemy put down a strong defensive barrage close behind our forward line, remainder of night was quiet.

    30th October
    Casualties 1 officer and 4 other ranks killed. 1 officer and 14 other ranks wounded.
    At 4am enemy opened heavy artillery fire on the ground immediately behind our front line, developing in intensity at dawn. About 6am several of the enemy were seen running about in Wood East of Marechal House. Several were knowcked out by snipers at Ltr. “X” Company.
    Situation quietened down by 8am and remainder of day fairly calm.

    31st October
    Quiet on the whole. Occasional heavy bursts of artillery fire on Battalion H.Q. and support positions. From 4-30pm onwards the enemy sent over constant streams of gas shells on our back areas.

    Thomas Kettle was killed in action on the 29th October and we have to assume killed during the artillery barrage in the late evening on that night.


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