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WW1 Canadian Memorial Cross to 51438 Pte Thomas Sillence
Good very fine, in box of issue.
Thomas Raymond Sillence was killed in action with No. 3 Company, Princess Patricia's Canadian Light Infantry during the Battle of Frezenberg during Second Ypres on 8th May 1915 and with no know grave is commemorated on the Menin Gate.
With 3 copied pages of service record and CWGC, Thomas was born in Pimlico, London on 6th Jan 1883, he was a Cook and also a Groom by occupation and attested at Winnipeg on 6th January 1915. He was posted to the P.P.C.L.I. in France 21/3/15. On the 8th April he rec'd 28 days Field Punishment No. 2 for being "Drunk". He was Killed in Action on 8th May 1915. The Circumstances of Death show "Trenches at Bellewaarde Lake". A cross was awarded to both his mother and widow, Elizabeth Florence Sillience of Flower Lane, Amesbury, Wiltshire.
The Patricias held a 600 yard stretch on the extreme left of the Division, in front of Bellewaerde Lake, with two companies in the front line and two companies in the support line. The KRRC were on their right and 1/KOYLI of the 83rd Brigade on their left. About an hour after dawn the shelling began, and increased in intensity so that ‘the whole world seemed alive and rocking with the flashing and crashing of bursting shells’. An imminent attack seemed certain but by 8am there was still no sign of enemy infantry. The shelling caused a great deal of damage, and casualties. The front line was soon reduced to 160 men and two machine-guns. Major Gault regarded it as the most intense shelling of trenches in the whole war. When a lull in the bombardment occurred the machine guns swept the trenches and Germans began to swarm out of their lines.