Lee T.

Private 24395 Tom Lee, 7th Battalion Yorkshire Regiment


Killed in action 5th November 1916.

Tom Lee was born in Stokesley in 1896, the son of Thomas Lee, a bricklayer who himself was born in Stokesley, and Sarah Elizabeth Barugh, born in Middlesbrough. The couple were married in Stokesley in 1894 and Tom was their second son, his elder brother being called Fred.

In 1901 the family were living in Wrightson’s Yard, West End. Tom’s widowed grandmother Mary Barugh was with the family which then numbered three children: Fred (6), Tom (5) and Emma (2). Ten years later, still in Wrightson’s Yard, the family had grown considerably. Tom had three more younger siblings: John James (9), Harry (6) and Amy (3). Both Fred and Tom were working; Fred as a gardener and Tom as a groom.

The Book of Remembrance tells us that Tom was still a groom when he enlisted in Stokesley as Private 24395, 7th Battalion of the Yorkshire Regiment. At the exhibition held in Stokesley Town Hall on 16th and 17th May, 2014, a descendant of the Lee family confirmed Tom's occupation, adding that Tom was then working at Easby Hall and slept above the stables! (The same source also gave us information that Tom's brother Fred spent part of his war looking after German Prisoners of War).

Tom was sent to France on 20th January 1916. He was wounded in whilst taking part in a bayonet charge during the Somme Offensive in the July of that year but recovered and was posted back to his regiment. He was killed in action on 5th November 1916, just a few days before the Somme campaign was abandoned.

Private Lee was 20 years old when he fell and he was awarded the British War Medal and Victory Medal. He has no known grave but is commemorated on the Pier and Face 3A and 3D of the Thiepval Memorial near Ypres.

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