Simpson, Thomas (No. 696399)

Simpson, Thomas (served as Harvey, Thomas)


No. 696399, ‘Y’ 57th Trench Mortar Battery, Royal Field Artillery

Killed in action on Tuesday 12 June 1917 (aged 25)


Rue-Petillon Military Cemetery, France (Grave I. N. 44)


Commonwealth War Graves Commission

Comber and District War Memorial


Thomas Simpson was born on 6 December 1891 at 102 Raglan Street, Belfast and he was a son of William and Mary Simpson (nee Kerr, sometimes Carr) who were married on 1 November 1889 in Newtownards Roman Catholic Church.  William Simpson (aged 41) from Castle Street, Comber was a widower and he was a son of William Simpson, a gardener.  Mary Kerr (aged 29) from The Square, Comber was a spinster and a servant and she was a daughter of Michael Kerr, a farmer.

The Simpson family lived at 102 Raglan Street, Belfast; at 10 Ross Street, Belfast; in Castle Street, Comber and at 3 Railway Street, Comber.

William Simpson worked as a railway labourer and he and Mary had seven children including:

Francis James (born 22 September 1890 at 102 Raglan Street, Belfast)

Thomas (born 6 December 1891 at 102 Raglan Street, Belfast)

Mary Eliza (Minnie, born 3 February 1895 at 10 Ross Street, Belfast)

James (born 21 September 1896 at 10 Ross Street, Belfast)

Maria (born 4 July 1899 at 10 Ross Place, Belfast)

John (born 20 January 1901 in Castle Street, Comber)

By his previous marriage, William Simpson had at least two children, Joseph and William (born around 1880/1881)

Prior to the outbreak of the Great War Thomas Simpson worked as a farm labourer.

When Thomas Simpson enlisted in Bootle, Lancashire he used an alias and he served under the name of Thomas Harvey.

He served with the Royal Field Artillery and Thomas Simpson, alias Thomas Harvey, was 25 when he was killed in action on 12 June 1917.  At the time of Gunner Thomas Simpson’s death all five of his brothers were on active service.  Joseph Simpson conveyed their details by means of a letter which was published in the 15 September 1917 edition of the Newtownards Chronicle:

  • Thomas killed
  • Joseph served with the Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers (No. 13795) and he wrote the letter when he was in the Military Convalescent Hospital in Holywood recovering from wounds; this was Joseph’s second time to be wounded and later in the war he was wounded for a third time – in May 1918
  • James was in Salonika having previously been wounded
  •  Francis was in France where he had been since the outbreak of the Great War.
  • William was in the American Army.
  • John was in the Royal Irish Rifles.

Gunner Thomas Simpson alias Thomas Harvey (No. 696399) was buried in Rue-Petillon Military Cemetery, France and he is commemorated on Comber and District War Memorial.