Saunders John Thomas L/Cpl 4457964

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Personnel Entry

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Name Saunders John Thomas
Army number 4457964
Rank L/Cpl
Date of birth
Age 25
Unit Durham Light Infantry T no enlistment date, ? Posted 12th Bn DLI, Trf Black Watch 1/2/1940, Posted 1 TS. B.E.F., Prisoner of War 20/5/1940 (a report of his capture appeared in the Auckland Chronicle of 1/8/1940), KILLED 21/7/1944. (DLI Enlistment Book entry reads - Killed as a PoW as a result of a dispute. The Black Watch Enlistment Book entry reads - Shot for rebellion 21 July 1944 whilst P.o.W. in German hands, Serial No. 429).
Company/Battery C
Platoon or other sub-unit
Task or role
Joined Brigade Probably 1/9/1939
Prisoner of War Lamsdorf.
Died/Killed in action 21-Jul-44
Home address Son of Joseph and Florence May Saunders, Bishop Auckland. Buried in Popielow Churchyard - Graves now formally identified with CWGC headstones. Formal dedication of the headstone took place on 21/8/2014, along with that for Trooper Henry Alexander THOMSON M.M. (Lothian and Borders Yeomanry)- shot dead in the same incident, and buried in the adjacent grave number 2.
Source table 1TS

To read a BBC News piece by Duncan Leatherdale (formerly a reporter with The Northern Echo) linked to the dedication service for the two headstones please click here. L/Cpl Saunders did not, as the piece suggests, enlist directly into 1st Tyneside Scottish but joined the Durham Light Infantry and was transferred to the Black Watch and posted to 1st Tyneside Scottish when the 12th Battalion (Tyneside Scottish) Durham Light Infantry was transferred from the Corps of the DLI to the Corps of the Black Watch on 1st February 1940.

To read the account of the dedication service in the Northern Echo please click here The work to identify Trooper Thomson M.M. as the second victim was carried out jointly by John and Mavis Dixon and involved a combination of military and genealogical research over a considerable period.

To read L/Cpl Saunders commemorative record please click here