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Thomas Alda FRIEND

Main CPGW Record

Surname: FRIEND

Forename(s): Thomas Alda

Place of Birth: Sutton-in-Craven, Yorkshire

Service No: 135142

Rank: Gunner

Regiment / Corps / Service: Royal Field Artillery

Battalion / Unit: 42nd Battery 2nd Brigade

Division: 6th Division

Age: 28

Date of Death: 1917-10-08

Awards: ---

CWGC Grave / Memorial Reference: I. M. 21.


CWGC Memorial: ---

Non-CWGC Burial: ---



Additional Information:

Thomas Alda Friend was the son of Arthur William and Martha Ann Friend, née Holgate. Arthur was born at Boston Spa and Martha at Sutton-in-Craven, Yorkshire.

1891 Crosshills, Yorkshire Census: Campbell Street, Lothersdale Road - Thomas A. Friend, aged 1 month, born Sutton, Yorkshire, son of Arthur and Martha A. Friend.

1901 Glusburn, Yorkshire Census: 4, James Street - Thomas A. Friend, aged 10 years, born Sutton Mill, Yorkshire, son of Arthur and Martha A. Friend.

1911 Crosshills, Yorkshire Census: 54, Ryland Street - Thomas Alda Friend, aged 20 years, born Sutton Mill, Yorkshire, son of Arthur Wm and Martha Ann Friend.

British Army WW1 Medal Rolls Index Cards: Gnr Thomas A. Friend, 135142, Royal Field Artillery.

Data Source: Craven’s Part in the Great War - original CPGW book entry

View Entry in CPGW Book

Entry in West Yorkshire Pioneer Illustrated War Record:

FRIEND, Gunner L. Alder, [Crosshills], aged 27, aged of pneumonia following gas poisoning, 1917.


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Gunner Thomas Alda FRIEND

Gunner Thomas Alda FRIEND

Regiment / Corps / Service Badge: Royal Field Artillery

Regiment / Corps / Service Badge: Royal Field Artillery

Divisional Sign / Service Insignia: 6th Division

Divisional Sign / Service Insignia: 6th Division

Data from Soldiers Died in the Great War 1914 - 1919 Records

Soldiers Died Data for Soldier Records

Surname: FRIEND

Forename(s): Thomas Alda

Born: Cross Hills, Keighley


Enlisted: Keighley, Yorks

Number: 135142

Rank: Gunner

Regiment: Royal Horse Artillery & Royal Field Artillery



Died Date: 08/10/17

Died How: Died of wounds

Theatre of War: France & Flanders


Data from Commonwealth War Graves Commission Records

CWGC Data for Soldier Records

Surname: FRIEND

Forename(s): Thomas Alda

Country of Service: United Kingdom

Service Number: 135142

Rank: Gunner

Regiment: Royal Field Artillery

Unit: 42nd Bty.

Age: 28


Died Date: 08/10/1917

Additional Information: Son of Mr. and Mrs. Arthur William Friend, of 54, Ryeland St., Crosshills, Keighley, Yorks. (CWGC Headstone Personal Inscription: FAITHFUL UNTO DEATH)



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Craven Herald and Wensleydale Standard Logo

19 October 1917


Mr. and Mrs. Arthur Friend, of Ryeland Street, Crosshills, received a letter on Saturday morning last from an Army Chaplain, informing them that their only son, Gunner Alder Friend, of the Royal Field Artillery, had died at a casualty clearing station in France from the effects of German poison gas, passing away on the 9th October. His parents had known for a few days that he was very seriously ill, but the news of his death came as a shock to them.

At the time of joining the Forces in April 1916, Gunner Friend was employed as loomer and twister by Messrs. George T. Mason and Sons at North Beck Mills, Keighley. He went out to France with his regiment in March last. He was of a very lovable disposition and very highly respected by all with whom he came into contact, and had a wide circle of friends at Crosshills and Keighley. He was closely connected with the Crosshills United Methodist Church.

26 October 1917


On Sunday evening a well-attended memorial service to the late Gunner Alder Friend, of Ryeland Street, Crosshills, was held in the Crosshills United Methodist Church, the preacher being the Rev. F.H.J. Thornton. Mrs. J.H. Greenwood gave the solo ‘O rest in the Lord’ very sympathetically, and appropriate hymns were sung, including ‘Father who art alone our helper’ sung to a tune composed by Mr. Amos Driver, a well-known local musician and a member of the Church. The minister, prior to his sermon, read a list of all who had gone from the Church to serve with the Forces, and took as his text ‘Whosoever will lose his life for my sake shall find it’. Mr. Ernest Clough officiated as organist.

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19 October 1917

FRIEND – Died from pneumonia following gas poisoning, Gunner T. Aldar Friend, of the R.F.A., son of Mr. And Mrs. Arthur Friend, of Crosshills, aged 27.

19 October 1917



Deep sympathy is felt with Mr. and Mrs. Arthur Friend in the unexpected bereavement they have suffered in the death of their only son, Gunner T. Alder Friend, of the R.F.A., who has died at No 1 Clearing Station from pneumonia through the effects of gas poisoning. Mr. and Mrs. Friend had received information stating that their son was suffering from gas poisoning, and a second letter gave them great hopes of his recovery, as the letter stated he was doing nicely. The telegram on Saturday morning which brought the information that the worst had happened came as a thunderbolt to the parents, he being their only child and greatly beloved by them, and highly respected by all who knew him. The testimony of the chaplain (Rev. Mr. Lake) states:– “He was a splendid fellow and greatly appreciated by all in his company,” is truly the character of the deceased. Gunner Friend joined the forces in April, 1916, and went across to France in March, 1917. Prior to enlisting he was employed at Messrs. Mason’s, Keighley, as a twister. So far as a soldier’s life was concerned, he had no desire to become acquainted with it, but after joining he made the most of his new life. In his letters to his friends he never complained of his lot, but bore his part cheerfully. He was of fine physique, and courteous to all with whom he came into contact. His loss is greatly deplored by the residents generally. He was in his 27th year.

26 October 1917


MEMORIAL SERVICE – A memorial service to the late Pte. Alder Friend was conducted by Rev. F.H.J. Thornton in the Ebenezer Church on Sunday evening. Mr. Thornton based his remarks on the words “Whosover will lose his life for My sake shall find it.” In opening, said they could not help thinking today of the many homes in our own and other lands from which strong and brave men marched away months ago, because they had heard the call, and were willing to make the supreme sacrifice for righteousness sake, who would never come back. What was the message of the Christian Church to these men? It was that they came to a right theory of death. All Europe was oppressed with the power of death today. But Jesus Christ gave to us in the resurrection a crowning hope. We could not keep back the tears, but he gave the certainty of life eternal. It was this quiet and blessed hope that was being re-born in our hearts today. It was this lively hope the church had to offer for comfort to all the stricken homes and to every sorrowing heart. The gallant lads offered themselves not for anything they hoped to gain, but for the sake of honour and liberty, of justice, and righteousness, and when a man cast himself on God in that fashion, offering not the words of his lips, nor homage of worship, but himself, to such Christ said “He that loseth his life for My sake shall find it.” At the front, men we reckoned indifferent and heedless turned their faces Godward, before battle, and had fallen. Many had turned at the eleventh hour to ask forgiveness, and no man who made that appeal ever made it in vain. So we left the issue with God, Who was kinder than the kindest. To those who mourned the loss of our departed friend Alder he said, “Your beloved is not dead. God has him in His gracious keeping until the day breaks and the shadows flee away.” They had come to a time when speech seemed intrusive. Their hearts were sore for the loss of the one they loved. He remembered how he hated war, yet he believed he was doing his duty. He was courteous, kindly, and considerate, and they felt he wanted to make the world a better place and ever ready to fight the good fight of faith, which was a great consolation and a mighty comfort.

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