Thorp, James Frederick Oswald


War Service:
Private James Frederick Oswald Thorp, 10th Battalion, The Queen’s (Royal West Surrey Regiment) was killed in action on the 27th July 1918, aged 19.

His death was reported in the Catford Journal and Bellingham Weekly News: “Private James Frederick Oswald Thorp, Queen’s Royal West Surrey Regiment who was killed instantly by a shell whilst on night duty in France on July 27, was the only surviving son of Mr. and Mrs. F Thorp, of 130 Ardgowan-road, Catford. He was only 19 years of age, and was born at East Brixton, and previous to joining the Colours was a clerk in the tea trade. It was on May 1 of 1917 that he joined the West Surreys, and trained at Aldershot, Colchester, and Cromer, going to France on April 1 of this year.

The first intimation the parents had of their son’s death was by means of a letter received by Mrs. Child, of 92 George-lane, Catford, from her son in France who wrote on June(sic) 27: “I’m awfully down-hearted to-day. My chum Thorp (whose sister is in the Torridon-road Choir) was killed last night. We were a working party going wiring, when Jerry started sending 18-pounders over. One burst just behind me. Thorp, who was a few paces behind, was hit in the back of the head and killed instantly; another fellow in my own team was wounded in leg. Will you please ask dad to write a letter to his people on my behalf? I should hardly know how to set about it myself. I enclose a letter I found in his haversack”

The chaplain, The Rev. E Sayer Ellis wrote to his sister ”Do all you can to be as brave-hearted in your grief as your brother was in danger…Your brother was well thought of by his officers and much liked by his comrades. You have much reason to be proud of him for the fine way he has given himself in life and in death”.

He is buried and remembered in Lijssenthoek Military Cemetery, Belgium.

Location of Memorial:
He is remembered on the WW1 Roll of Honour in St Andrew's Church, Catford. and also on the memorial at the Congregational Church, Torridon Road, Hither Green

He was the son of Frederick and Kate Thorp of 130 Ardgowan Road, Catford. He was connected with the Torridon Road Congregational Church, being involved from the Infant’s up to the Boy’s Own classes. He also taught at the Toye’s Orphanage in Greenwich, where following his death, a dormitory was named in his honour.

Contributed By: Kevin Loughnane

Do you have more information on this person or the memorial they are commemorated on? If so click here to contribute information.


by Local History and Archives Centre, Lewisham and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence

Unless otherwise stated, the content of this page is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 License