I believe that the above article should read T H Frith. Thomas Henry Frith joined the Army in 1913 and gave his age as 18 years and 10 months (he was age 16), his height at this time was 6feet 2inches.
In 1914 his mother asked that he be discharged as he was the family's main source of income, also stating that he was 17 years of age.
The army investigated further and granted Thomas a free discharge.
The hand written note on the document below shows that he re-joined the army with the 3rd Manchesters in 1914.
Thomas was killed in action on the 26th September 1916. THOMAS HENRY FRITH Rank: Private Service No: 2288 Date of Death: 26/09/1916 Age: 19 Regiment/Service: Manchester Regiment 11th Bn. Panel Reference Pier and Face 13 A and 14 C. Memorial THIEPVAL MEMORIAL Additional Information: Son of Mrs. Mary H. Gash, of 6, Little Gold St., Pendleton, Manchester. Birth Place: Broughton, Lancs Residence: Pendleton, Manchester Death Location: France & Flanders Enlistment Location: Manchester Regiment: Manchester Regiment Battalion: 11th Battalion Type of Casualty: Killed in action
I shall see if the Salford Reporter has any further information.
A new forum member (Frith) has recently sent a PM which they have kindly allowed me to publish on the main forum.
Dear sir, I would like to thank you for the information regarding Thomas Henry Frith-the tallest soldier. My husband came across your article, may I call it. We were flabbergasted to see a letter written by my Great Grandmother Mary Gash or 'granny Gash' as my parents always called her. We had no idea that Great uncle Thomas had enlisted at such a young age or that Granny Gash had written to his seniors making them aware of this, so that she could have him return home, only for him to re-enlist some time later. I was first told about great Uncle Tom many years ago. I remember being told my dad had an uncle who was a 'giant' and that he used to light his cigarettes on the old, street, gas lamps. Over the years we have found little snippets of information. We know what year he was born, that he joined up and trained at Ashton under-Lyne and he fought and died at Mouquet Farm, we believe he was planting smoke bombs. We believe my dad knows more about his Military career. We have seen 2 photographs of him, one was a piece in the newspaper from 1915 where he has his arms outstretched with fellow soldiers stood beneath his arms and the second, we think, is a studio portrait with full uniform and rifle. He was a handsome young man. The copy of the letter, you posted was very poignant and gave us a tiny insight into his and his family life AND our family history, which me and my husband were unaware of. His commemorative War Medal remains within the family. THANK you for putting this on salfordwarmemorials. We are incredibly grateful, surprised and may I say, astonished that your information of Thomas Frith has given US so much information. Yours sincerely Karen. Oh one more thing, If I can obtain a copy of the 'studio' photograph would you like us to send a JPEG! Thank you.
Karen is going to send us some images as soon as she is able.
We would like to thank Frith for sending the following message and picture.
thank you for replying and giving us contact details. Thanks to my sister and brother-in-law, Janet and George who have very kindly given us a copy of this photograph of Thomas Frith, we are able to forward a copy to you. As you can see Thomas does NOT have a rifle at his side as I believed. I was totally wrong in my recollection. It's a long time since I saw the photograph and the reason I believed he had a rifle is that Steve-my husband-had done a portrait of this photo, replacing the chair with a rifle! The portrait is on our wall and we see it every day, therefore memory fault. Sorry. The photograph does not give a true representation of his height BUT looking at the background and the height of the back of the chair we think it gives a reasonable idea of his size, what do you think? Also we are not sure when this was taken, whether the FIRST time he joined up or, a few months later, the SECOND time he enrolled, when he had grown a fair bit, about SIX inches within months from the information we read. We think it may be the first as, from what we gather, a lot of information was documented on enlistment and we think photographs would have been taken then as well. (Can't see a date anywhere on this photograph). The other photograph of Thomas with arms outstretched and fellow soldiers stood beneath is proving a little more difficult to obtain. Still if we get hold of a copy........My Mam and Dad paid their respects at the 'Thiepval memorial' monument some years ago, when they made an emotional visit to the battlegrounds, where my Dads Uncle Tom fought and died. They saw so many graves with little white crosses and the poppy fields. I remember them saying they would 'never forget' what they saw or the emotions they felt. Thomas is one of thousands who has no grave. His name can be seen on the Thiepval memorial, Pier and Face 13 A and 14 C. It's impossible to imagine events of that 1st day and the few months following when you read about the Battle of the Somme-the British attack began 1st July 1916. By the end of November 1916 the British Army had lost about 600,000 men. Thomas was one of those men. Thank you again 'shred' for the contact details and for your information and interest in Pte Thomas Henry Frith. Our family and especially our Dad take great pride in knowing that Uncle Tom is remembered and spoken of- not just by us either. If we obtain the other picture or come across more info we shall forward it. Thanks again to our Janet and George and Many thanks to you indeed for all your help.