Corporal - 1st Royal Tank Regiment - Service No. 7917955
Peter John Thomas was born on 15th May 1920 in Bexley, Kent. His father was Harry Thomas, an Engineer (Departmental Manager), and his mother was Elsie (née Picton). The previous school that he attended was Upton College in Bexley.
In 1931 Peter Thomas joined The County School for Boys – now known as Gravesend Grammar School. The Head Master at that time was the Reverend Samuel Lister. The County School for Boys was located in Darnley Road, Gravesend close to the Railway Station (now the Victoria Centre for Education). In 1938 the School moved to brand new premises in Church Walk, Milton, Gravesend opposite to Milton Church.
The School’s Admission Register lists Peter’s address as Windyridge, Lewis Road, Istead Rise, Gravesend. Whilst at the School, Peter was in Downs House. Younger brother Anthony (born 1925) also attended the School. Their parents later moved to Cornwall.
In 1939 Peter left the School. In World War Two he enlisted in the 1st Royal Tank Regiment, Service Number 7917955. By 1944 he was a Corporal.
On 7th June 1944 the 1st Royal Tank Regiment landed at Arromanches and three days later were in action south of Bayeux. After taking part in the Battle of Caen, they then pushed on to Arnhem, to try and help to secure the bridge at Arnhem. This was known as Operation Market Garden and is remembered in the film A Bridge Too Far. Peter Thomas was killed on 30th September 1944, age 24. He is remembered at Uden War Cemetery in the Netherlands.
Peter Thomas shares the Roll of Honour with three other students from his Form – Varley Bousfield, Stewart Davis and David Sparrow.
There are links below to Newspaper Clippings and Photographs from the Gravesend Grammar School Archives.
Below are links to the Commonwealth War Graves Commission website and a few other websites that might be of interest: