D.S.O. Lieutenant Colonel 1ST AND 6TH DCLI

Thomas Richard Stokoe

Thomas Richard Stokoe was born on the 5th May 1872 to Richard and Fanny Stokoe in India. His parents Richard Stokoe and Fanny Weichbrodt married in the Hampstead area of London after banns were read in the June & July of that year. Fanny was born in London and Richard in Surrey. Richard had enlisted as an ensign on the 2nd January 1862 and had been promoted to Lieutenant on the 18th January 1864. After his marriage to Richard returned to India with his bride. Whilst they were out in India they had 4 children who were all born and baptised in the country. Thomas Richard in 1872, Charles John in 1873, Richard in 1876 and Frances their only daughter in 1879.

Baptism record (India)

Thomas was commission into to DCLI on the 17th December 1892 and was promoted to Lieutenant in 1893, Captain in 1899, Major in 1903 and Lieutenant Colonel in 1916. Before the war he served in with the 1st Battalion DCLI in the Punjab and the Tirah Expedition. Then in South Africa where he was severely wounded at Kruger’s Post on the 6th October 1901 whilst serving with the 4th Mounted Infantry. When war broke out in 1914 he was a Major commanding the Depot at Bodmin. He left there to take command of the first Kitchener Battalion, the 6th Battalion, going to France with them on the 22nd May 1915. He commanded them as part of the 14th Division at Ypres, the Somme, Delville Wood, Arras, Wancourt, Inverness Copse and Passchendaele. Thomas was twice wounded. Once on the 24th July 1915 by a trench-mortar near Hooge in the Salient. He rejoined the Battalion on the 18th February 1916 after he had recovered, and commanded them throughout the fierce fighting during the Somme battles of 1916 at Delville Wood, Trones Wood and the general attack on the 18th August. He received the DSO in 1917 “For distinguished service in the field” and was mentioned in despatches twice.

Stokoe with Officers of the 6th DCLI Thomas did not marry until later in life and it was not until 1908 when he was 36 that he married Edith May Bowen who was 42 and a widow. Sadly Edith died within a couple of year of their marriage and it was not until three years later that Thomas married Emily Trethewey in St Mabyn, Bodmin. Thomas was 40 at the time and Emily 33 and a widow. She was the daughter of John Kendall Rashleigh who was the vicar at St Mabyn. Thomas and Emily had a son Thomas Michael who was born in 1915 and the couple also raised Emily’s daughter Nancy from her first marriage.

Thomas died in Rock, Cornwall on the 23rd July 1948 age 76. Their son Thomas Michael Stokoe served with the 5th DCLI during the 1939-45 War as Temporary Major.