King's Own Royal Regiment Museum

Lancaster

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Images are copyright, Trustees of the King's Own Royal Regiment Museum.
 You must seek permission prior to publication of any of our images.


Soldiers of the Regiment

Sergeant Thomas John Williams

Sergeant Thomas John Williams, number 240041, enlisted into the Territorial Force and joined the 5th Battalion of the King's Own Royal Lancaster Regiment on 27th February 1909.  He was mobilised with the rest of the battalion in August 1914 and went overseas to the Western Front on 14th February 1915.  He served throughout the war and was reported as wounded on 4th May 1915, but continued to serve until his final discharge on 30th April 1919. 

As well as the 1914/15 Star, British War and Allied Victory Medals, Sergeant Williams received the Silver War Badge due to wounds received, which resulted in his disembodiment from the Army in April 1919.

Two items in the museum's collection were donated by him in 1963, following their loan from 1954.  Confusingly the loan and subsequent donation were made by him as Thomas John Owen, for some unknown reason he had changed his name.  He is recorded in our records as serving as Williams, but from the 1950s as Owen.

During the First World War Sergeant Williams wrote to the York Cocoa Works, on 25th May 1915, about the box of Rowntrees Cocoa that had saved his life.  Thinking he had been shot he checked to find that a tin of cocoa from Rowntrees had taken the bullet instead.

 
Emergency tea and sugar ration tin which saved the life of donor, Sergeant Thomas John Williams, at the engagement on 23rd April 1915 at St Julien, Belgium, whilst serving with the 1st/5th Battalion, King's Own Royal Lancaster Regiment.
Accession Number: KO0798/01

 
Cocoa tin which saved the life of donor, Sergeant Thomas John Williams, at the engagement on 23rd April 1915 at St Julien, Belgium, whilst serving with the 1st/5th Battalion, King's Own Royal Lancaster Regiment.
Accession Number: KO0798/02

 

Images are copyright, Trustees of the King's Own Royal Regiment Museum.
 You must seek permission prior to publication of any of our images.

Only a proportion of our collections are on display at anyone time.  Certain items are on loan for display in other institutions.  An appointment is required to consult any of our collections which are held in store.

2014 Trustees of the King's Own Royal Regiment Museum