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Born: c 1895, Baildon
Died: 3 August 1917, Tandamuti
Buried: Dar es Sallam
Address: 26 Brook Hill, Baildon
Parents: Henry and Isabella
Siblings: Lottie, Wilfred and Dorothy
Occupation: woolsorter with Mr J Reddihough of Bradford
Rank: Pte
Rolls of Honour: Baildon Methodist Church; Baildon
Regiment: City of London Regt; 25th Battn, Frontiersmen
Thomas Henry Weightman
Thomas Weightman was born in Baildon around 1895 and attended the Central School there. By the 1911 census he was working as a bobbin layer and living with his parents Henry, a coachman, and Isabella, both from Westmoreland. When war broke out Thomas was working as a woolsorter in Bradford. Like a number of local men, he joined the Legions of Frontiersmen and was sent to Africa in July 1916. On 10 August 1917 the Shipley Times & Express published this story, not knowing that a week before Thomas had been killed in action. With what delight the soldiers receive their parcels which have been forwarded by the numerous public bodies organised to send out parcels of comforts periodically for our gallant lads, may be gathered from their cheerful and appreciative letters. Mr H Taylor of Park Mount Avenue, Baildon, was recently the recipient of a letter from Pte Thomas Weightman, whose home is at Brook Hill, Low Baildon, who is serving with the Frontiersmen in German East Africa. He was pleased to acknowledge receipt of a parcel adding, “I had returned from a short engagement the other day with a tired feeling and a longing for something dainty to eat. “I had not been in camp long before Willie Gill of Woodbottom was informed that there was a parcel waiting for him. We both
joined of it and had a good feed. Next day mine followed on and we had another excellent meal. “I saw Joe Holmes, another Baildon soldier, and he said he had got one. “Nobody knows how we value these parcels and I must say I am extremely grateful to everybody who is concerned in getting them ready for us. The contents are suitable for tropical climates and everything was sound. Short brush “We had a short brush with the Germans the other day and I came out untouched. I had my first experience under machine gun fire and had a good ‘breaking in.’ We were surprised and awakened by bullets whistling round our tents. “The fight was short and hot and proved successful and the wounded and killed were not numerous to say how close we were to the enemy. Two days’ march back and we are here resting after about four or five days strenuous work. “I am in the pink of health and enjoying myself the best I can under the conditions. The sun is very powerful and gives you ‘beans’ if you expose yourself a great deal at midday. “We are camped by the sea once more and going through the same experience as we did on previous occasions when we have been
encamped by the water.” It was two weeks later this appeared in an article about recent Baildon casualties: Another Baildon soldier who has fallen is Pte Thomas Weightman of Brook Hill, Low Baildon. The sad intelligence reached Mr and Mrs Weightman on Saturday from Pte Weightman’s regiment’s head- quarters at Hounslow. Malarial fever Enlisting in the Frontiersmen, Royal Fusiliers, Battalion in May 1915, Pte Weightman went through a course of training at Hounslow and went to Africa in July 1916. Whilst in German East Africa he had an attack of malarial fever and was later killed in action there on August 3rd. Before his enlistment Pte Weightman was employed as a woolsorter with Mr J Reddihough of Bradford and was 22 years of age. Of a bright and sociable character, his demise will be much regretted by a large circle of friends. He received his education at the Central Schools under the present headmaster, Mr T M Jones. Richard Weightman, whose grandfather Wilfred was Thomas’s brother, has filled in some of the details: “We have the death notification received by Thomas' parents which
says ‘Killed in action at place not stated’. In fact it was known exactly where he was killed because if you look at the battalion war diary, he was killed in the action at Tandamuti. Details of this are also given in the book ‘Three years of war in East Africa’ by Capt Angus Buchanan. “The account of travelling up a river in boats at night in tropical Africa is as far as you could probably get from the trenches of the Western Front ! “Thomas was initially buried in Mingoyo cemetery but in the 1960s his body would have been re- interred at Dar es Salaam when the outlying cemeteries became too difficult to maintain (according to the CWGC web site)” Thomas is remembered on the Baildon Methodist Church Roll of Honour and also on a family gravestone in Charlestown burial ground.
Thanks to Richard Weightman and also to Tish and Mike Lawson for their help with this research
Baildon Methodist Church Baildon Methodist Church Baildon Methodist Church Thomas’s brother Wilfred, above right, also served in WW1. After the war he lived at 51 The Grove, Baildon and worked as a self-employed painter and decorator as Campen and Weightman. In WW2 he was an air-raid warden in Baildon. Henry and Isabella at Brook Hill, Baildon Twice remembered: Thomas’s headstones at Charlestown (left) and Dar es Salaam Men Who Served Home Page Men Who Served Home Page Men Who Served Home Page Baildon RoH Baildon RoH Baildon RoH