This site commemorates the men and women of Collingham, Linton and Micklethwaite who served during World War 1. Today we especially commemorate Corporal 9912 Benjamin Greaves Whitley of the Army Pay Corps who was born on this day in 1884.
Harland, Thomas Edmonds
(1896-1983)

Rank and Unit at End of World War One

Rank Private

Service Number M2/116096

Service Army

Battalion

Regiment Royal Army Service Corps

Pre-war Occupation*/marital status**

Trade or Occupation pre-war: Motor driver
Marital status: Single


* Taken from attestation papers or 1911 census
** Marital status on enlistment or at start of war
Connection with Collingham, Linton or Micklethwaite and reason for inclusion on this web site
  • Named as an Absent Voter due to Naval or Military Service on the 1918 or 1919 Absent Voter list for Collingham, Linton or Micklethwaite

Biography

Family background

Thomas Edmonds Harland was born in Leeds in 1897, the son of Thomas Michael and Mary Helen Harland and the elder brother of James Pullan Harland. Mary had been born in Linton, but in 1911, the family were living at 216 Harehills Avenue, Leeds where Thomas was a laundryman. The Harland family at this time ran The Jubilee Steam Laundry, with Thomas' father, Thomas Michael Harland, as its head. In the 1908 Kelly's Directory for Leeds their business was boasting branches at Nowell Lane, Harehills Lane, Woodhouse Lane, Hunslet Road, North Street, Beaufort Place, Fenton Street, Roundhay Road and York Road in Leeds.

Service record

By 1918, and again in 1919, Thomas appeared on the Collingham absent voters list due to Naval or Military service. He served as a Private, service number M2/116096, in the Royal Army Service Corps. He enlisted in Leeds on the 28th July 1915, giving his address as 1, Nowell Lane, Leeds and his trade as Motor Driver. Thomas underwent training and served in the UK from the 28th July 1915 until the 19th August 1915. He then went to France on the 20th August, embarking on the SS Inventor in Southampton and disembarking the following day in Havre. He was then posted to be attached to 402 Company ASC with 25th Brigade Royal Garrison Artillery.

After a brief period of 7 days leave (from 3rd April 1916 to 10th April) Thomas was posted to 491 Company ASC with 11th Corps. Later he transferred again to 403 MT Company on the 15th September 1916. His transfers and posting came thick and fast a this time, first on the 25th September 1916 to be attached to 1st Anzac HA and then on the 3rd October 1916 to 87 Siege Battery Ammunition Column as part of XIII Corps. Another move, on the 12th January 1917 followed to 363 MT Company and then to 335 MT Company on the 13th April 1917.

In full, Thomas' service record shows him at the following times in the following units:

DateMovementAllocation of Unit
20th August 1915Embarked Southampton
21st August 1915Disembarked Havre and attached 402 Coy, 25th Bde RGAwith 25th Bde RGA
3rd April - 10th April 1916Granted leave
18the April 1916Posted to 491 Coy., 11th CorpsHQ XI Corps Heavy Artillery "L" Corps Siege Park
15th Sept 1916to 403 MT Coy.with Corps HQ Heavy Artillery
25th Sept 1916ASC attached 1st Anzac HA
3rd Oct 1916To 87 Siege Battery Ammunition Column XIII Corps
12th Jan 1917To 363 MT CoyAttached HQ V Corps Heavy Artillery "O" Corps Siege Park
13th April 1917To 335 MT Coywith 14 Bde RGA Attd HQ XIII Corps Heavy Artillery "N" Corps Siege Park
27th July 1917Granted 1st Good Conduct Badge
9th Sep - 19th Sept 1917Leave
9th Nov 1917To 641 MT Coy.Attached HQ III Corps Heavy Artillery "C" Corps Siege Park
15th Dec 1917To 363 MT CoyAttached HQ V Corps Heavy Artillery "O" Corps Siege Park
29th June 1918To 272 MT CoyAttached Australian Heavy Artillery
5th July 1918To 884 MT Coywith HQ XVIII Corps Heavy Artillery 'T" Corps Siege Park
5th Aug 1918To 594 CoyAttached HQ X Corps Heavy Artillery "X" Corps Siege Park
24th Aug 1918To 402 Coy (via 611 Coy)Attached HQ Canadian Corps Heavy Artillery
20th Sep 1918To 403 MT CoyAttached XXII Corps Heavy Artillery
11th Oct 1918To 402 MT CoyAttached HQ Canadian Corps Heavy Artillery
30th Sep to 14th Oct 1918Leave
19th Oct 1918To 403 MT CoyAttached XXII Corps Heavy Artillery
1st Dec 1918To 491 MT Coy.Attached HQ XI Corps Heavy Artillery 'L" Corps Siege Park

The mechanised transport (MT) companies of the Army Service Corps had a wide range of roles in transportation on the Western Front, but from the above allocations we can see that Thomas Harland served in a number of MT companies but all were associated with heavy artillery. Some of these units were 'shared' between RGA Siege Batteries and were organised into Siege Parks. Siege Parks attached to Corps were designed for work with Heavy Artillery, but were administered by the ASC. They were answerable to the Heavy Artillery for the haulage of guns, supplying ammunition to batteries when in position, and the movement of batteries, also to the MT Branch of the ASC for the upkeep of lorries and administration of personnel. The planning of parks for lorries and tractors was naturally dependent upon the positions of the guns and the situation of the ammunition railheads, but the movement of lorries was a matter for the ASC. Members of the Corps who supported the heavy guns were often involved in activities which brought them in constant danger, largely due to enemy shelling. A good number became casualties and a number received decorations for bravery.

Thomas was discharged from the Army on the 16th July 1919.

After the war

After the war, Thomas returned to the UK and rejoined the laundry industry. In 1939 he was living with his parents at "Willow Bank" on the Leeds Road in Otley where his father's occupation was Laundry Proprietor and Thomas was a Laundry Manager.

Thomas' brother, James Pullan Harland, also served in the Great War and survived, and his sister, Dora Mary Harland, served in the Voluntary Aid Detachment.

Thomas died in 1983.


Sources

1911 Census. The National Archives. Class RG14 Piece 26974
First World War Medal Index Cards. The National Archives (WO372).
First World War Medal Index Rolls. The National Archives (WO329).
First World War British Army Service Records. The National Archives (WO363).

If you have any photographs or further details about this person we would be pleased to hear from you. Please contact us via: alan.berry@collinghamanddistrictwararchive.info