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Posted: 24.02.17

Christ College Remembers . . . Private David John Thomas

REMEMBRANCE DISPATCH No. 26 HAS BEEN POSTED IN HOUSES TO COMMEMORATE PRIVATE DAVID JOHN THOMAS (SCHOOL HOUSE 1912-1916) WHO WAS KILLED IN ACTION ON 26th FEBRUARY 1917.

David, or ‘D.J.’ as he was affectionately known, was one of three brothers from Porth who joined School House in 1912. They were popular boys and successful athletes and, though he suffered from poor eyesight, David played all three main sports. He won his colours in rugby and hockey and successfully captained the 1st XV in 1915. He was said to be a highly effective player who inspired confidence in his team and in 1915, when Christ College played at home against Monmouth for the first time, ‘D.J.’ led his team to a notable 20-6 victory.

He left school just before his 19th birthday and enlisted soon after, joining the 2nd/5th Battalion, Loyal North Lancashire Regiment. After a relatively short period of training, the Battalion arrived in France on 9th February 1917. Private David John Thomas reached the front line on 25th February but was killed the next day by a shell which landed on his trench.

Still only 19 when he died, David John was one of the youngest Old Breconians to be killed in the First World War. When news of his death reached Brecon the boys were deeply shocked that one of their former companions had been killed in action so soon after leaving school. A poem expressing their disbelief was published in The Breconian.

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