ID IYS_050 / Edwin Sparrow

TitleThomas Henry Bossence Batten killed in action 29 July 1916
Abstract

BATTEN, Thomas Bossence
Australian Rank: Private Australian Infantry
A.I.F. 26th Battalion
Age 19
Date of death 29 July 1916
Service No. 1718

Thomas Henry Bossence Batten was born in Tollesbury around 1898, the son of Thomas John Bossence Batten and Alice Ada Batten née Sparrow.
Thomas John Bossence Batten was son of Thomas John Batten (born Saltash Cornwall c1847 and Chief Coastguard at Tollesbury), and Amelia Emily Batten née Bossence (born Deal c1847). It was this Thomas who had brought the Batten family to Tollesbury in 1891. He was born at Saltash in Cornwall in 1847. Thomas John Batten served as a Coastguard at Deal, Kent, in 1881 and then from 1891 at Tollesbury. He became Chief Coastguard at Tollesbury. Thomas John Batten had married Amelia Emily Bossence, who was from Margate, Kent.

Young Thomas's address was given as Commerce House, Tollesbury Essex. He attended school at Tollesbury Council school and then joined the Merchant Navy working as a baker for the White Star Line. He made his first visit to Australia in 1914 in the White Star liner DEMOSTHENES. June 1915, while the DEMOSTHENES was in Brisbane, he enlisted in the Australian Army, having first asked for permission from the ship, which was granted. He gave his reason for joining up: "he thought he was not doing enough for his King & Country."

Thomask part in the Gallipoli campaign and was wounded on October 31st 1915. After he recovered, he volunteered for the machine gun section and went to France with the Anzacs in March 1916. Tom Batten was always of and happy disposition and made friends wherever he went. In one of his last letters he said that he never regretted joining the Army but would be glad when the war was over and he could come home.

The 26th Battalion was raised at Enoggera, Queensland, in April 1915 from recruits enlisted in Queensland and Tasmania, and formed part of the 7th Brigade. It left Australia in July, and, after training in Egypt, landed at Gallipoli on 12 September. At Gallipoli, the 26th played a purely defensive role and at various times was responsible for the defence of Courtney's and Steele's Posts, and Russell's Top. It withdrew from the peninsula on 12 December.

After another stint in Egypt, the 7th Brigade proceeded to France as part of the 2nd Australian Division in March 1916 In concert with the 28th Battalion, the 26th mounted the first trench raid undertaken by Australian troops on the Western Front on 6 June. The Battalion fought in its first major battle around Pozières between 28 July and 7 August 1916 part of the great Battle of the Somme.

Below is a Memorial Card

Medals: 1914-15 Star, 1914-1920 British War Medal, Victory Medal
P
Australian Imperial Force papers indicate Thomas was issued with Victory Medal 17107, inscribed and issued by Australia House

Thomas is commemorated in St. Mary's Parish Church, Tollesbury, and at Villers-Brettoneux Memorial, Somme, France.

Commonwealth War Dead Memorial: VILLERS - BRETONNEUX MEMORIAL

Villers-Bretonneux became famous in 1918, when the German advance on Amiens ended in the capture of the village by their tanks and infantry on 23 April. On the following day, the 4th and 5th Australian Divisions, with units of the 8th and 18th Divisions, recaptured the whole of the village and on 8 August 1918, the 2nd and 5th Australian Divisions advanced from its eastern outskirts in the Battle of Amiens. The VILLERS-BRETONNEUX MEMORIAL is the Australian national memorial erected to commemorate all Australian soldiers who fought in France and Belgium during the First World War, to their dead, and especially to those of the dead whose graves are not known. The 10,770 Australian servicemen actually named on the memorial died in the battlefields of the Somme, Arras, the German advance of 1918 and the Advance to Victory. The memorial was unveiled by King George VI in July 1938. The memorial stands within VILLERS-BRETONNEUX MILITARY CEMETERY, which was made after the Armistice when graves were brought in from other burial grounds in the area and from the battlefields.
Both cemetery and memorial were designed by Sir Edwin Lutyens.

Updates
Original text from Ted Sparrow in If You Shed a Tear Part 1, and as a Memorial Profile.
May 2020 web version based on Memorial Profile. The family background was rewritten based on extra information now available via the Appleton family. Victory Medal was replaced as Appleton papers give details of medals issued.

AuthorEdwin Sparrow
SourceMersea Museum
IDIYS_050
Related Images:
 Thomas John Bossence Batten c1847 - 1929. When he retired he was Chief Coastguard at Tollesbury.  PBIB_BAT_001
ImageID:   PBIB_BAT_001
Title: Thomas John Bossence Batten c1847 - 1929. When he retired he was Chief Coastguard at Tollesbury.
Date:c1895
Source:Mersea Museum / Jenny Bibby Collection
 The Aberdeen Line Triple S.S. DEMOSTHENES. She was built 1911 for the service to South Africa and Australia, and scrapped in 1931. 11,223 tons gross. Official No. 129362. Manager Geo. Thompson & Co.
 Thomas Henry Bossence Batten of Tollesbury served as a Baker on board DEMOSTHENES and left the ship in Australia June 1915 to join the Australian Army. He was Killed in Action in France July 1916.  PBIB_APP_258
ImageID:   PBIB_APP_258
Title: The Aberdeen Line Triple S.S. DEMOSTHENES. She was built 1911 for the service to South Africa and Australia, and scrapped in 1931. 11,223 tons gross. Official No. 129362. Manager Geo. Thompson & Co.
Thomas Henry Bossence Batten of Tollesbury served as a Baker on board DEMOSTHENES and left the ship in Australia June 1915 to join the Australian Army. He was Killed in Action in France July 1916.
Date:c1914
Source:Mersea Museum / Jenny Bibby Collection
 T.S.S. DEMOSTHENES Souvenir Programme of Concert.
 From papers relating to Ernest Appleton.  PBIB_APP_240
ImageID:   PBIB_APP_240
Title: T.S.S. DEMOSTHENES Souvenir Programme of Concert.
From papers relating to Ernest Appleton.
Date:9 November 1914
Source:Mersea Museum / Jenny Bibby Collection
 T.S.S. DEMOSTHENES Souvenir Programme of Concert.
 From papers relating to Ernest Appleton.  PBIB_APP_241
ImageID:   PBIB_APP_241
Title: T.S.S. DEMOSTHENES Souvenir Programme of Concert.
From papers relating to Ernest Appleton.
Date:9 November 1914
Source:Mersea Museum / Jenny Bibby Collection
 T.S.S. DEMOSTHENES Souvenir Programme of Concert.
 From papers relating to Ernest Appleton.  PBIB_APP_242
ImageID:   PBIB_APP_242
Title: T.S.S. DEMOSTHENES Souvenir Programme of Concert.
From papers relating to Ernest Appleton.
Date:9 November 1914
Source:Mersea Museum / Jenny Bibby Collection
 T.S.S. DEMOSTHENES Voyage 9 (Homeward) Abstract from Log 31 January to 6 February 1915 Fremantle to Durban.
 From papers relating to Ernest Appleton and family.  PBIB_APP_232
ImageID:   PBIB_APP_232
Title: T.S.S. DEMOSTHENES Voyage 9 (Homeward) Abstract from Log 31 January to 6 February 1915 Fremantle to Durban.
From papers relating to Ernest Appleton and family.
Date:31 January 1915
Source:Mersea Museum / Jenny Bibby Collection
 T.S.S. DEMOSTHENES Menu.
 From papers relating to Ernest Appleton.  PBIB_APP_233
ImageID:   PBIB_APP_233
Title: T.S.S. DEMOSTHENES Menu.
From papers relating to Ernest Appleton.
Date:7 February 1915
Source:Mersea Museum / Jenny Bibby Collection
 T.S.S. DEMOSTHENES Programme. Thomas Henry Bossence Batten of Tollesbury was a Baker on DEMOSTHENES.
 From papers relating to Ernest Appleton.  PBIB_APP_234
ImageID:   PBIB_APP_234
Title: T.S.S. DEMOSTHENES Programme. Thomas Henry Bossence Batten of Tollesbury was a Baker on DEMOSTHENES.
From papers relating to Ernest Appleton.
Date:7 February 1915
Source:Mersea Museum / Jenny Bibby Collection
 T.S.S. DEMOSTHENES Voyage 9 (Homeward) Abstract from Log 14 to 20 February 1915 Capetown to London.
 From papers relating to Ernest Appleton.  PBIB_APP_236
ImageID:   PBIB_APP_236
Title: T.S.S. DEMOSTHENES Voyage 9 (Homeward) Abstract from Log 14 to 20 February 1915 Capetown to London.
From papers relating to Ernest Appleton.
Date:20 February 1915
Source:Mersea Museum / Jenny Bibby Collection
 Thomas Henry Bossence Batten, killed in action age 19, France, 29 July 1916  IYS_050_003
ImageID:   IYS_050_003
Title: Thomas Henry Bossence Batten, killed in action age 19, France, 29 July 1916
Date:c1916
Source:Mersea Museum / Edwin Sparrow
 Thomas Henry B. Batten 1718 2/26th Battn.
 Embarked at Brisbane per H.M.A.T. Shropshire on 20/8/15
 ...
 29 July 1916 Killed in Action France.  PBIB_BAT_107
ImageID:   PBIB_BAT_107
Title: Thomas Henry B. Batten 1718 2/26th Battn.
Embarked at Brisbane per H.M.A.T. "Shropshire" on 20/8/15
...
29 July 1916 Killed in Action France.
Date:29 July 1916
Source:Mersea Museum / Jenny Bibby Collection
 Particulars required for the Roll of Honour in Australia in the Memorial War Museum.
 Thomas Henry Bossence Batten, 26th Battalion No. 1717.
 Connected with Brisbane, Australia, birthplace Tollesbury, Essex.
 Killed near Pozieres.
 Calling: Baker in Merchant Service in White Star Line. Age 19
 School Council School Tollesbury.
 Came to Australia first trip in 1914 age 16.
 Name of ship DEMOSTHENES. Under Government
 He had to get special permission to leave ship to join Australian army. Which was granted. The Reason Why. He thought he was not doing enough for King & Country.
 Father Thomas John Bossence Batten, Commerce House, Tollebury.  PBIB_BAT_109
ImageID:   PBIB_BAT_109
Title: Particulars required for the Roll of Honour in Australia in the Memorial War Museum.
Thomas Henry Bossence Batten, 26th Battalion No. 1717.
Connected with Brisbane, Australia, birthplace Tollesbury, Essex.
Killed near Pozieres.
Calling: Baker in Merchant Service in White Star Line. Age 19
School Council School Tollesbury.
Came to Australia first trip in 1914 age 16.
Name of ship DEMOSTHENES. Under Government
He had to get special permission to leave ship to join Australian army. Which was granted. The Reason Why. He thought he was not doing enough for King & Country.
Father Thomas John Bossence Batten, Commerce House, Tollebury.
Source:Mersea Museum / Jenny Bibby Collection