SKELTON - IN - CLEVELAND
"WE WILL REMEMBER THEM"
11025 Private THOMAS HERBERT SELLARS.
7th Battalion, Yorkshire Regiment.
Died of wounds on the 17th February 1917.
Born at Pickering, N Yorks and enlisted at Richmond, N Yorks.
Resided at Skelton in Cleveland.
Grove Town Cemetery, Meaulte, Nr Albert, Somme.
Thomas' name is on the Skelton War Memorial as T Sellers.
The Plaque in Skelton Church places him in the 4th Yorks Battalion.
However "Soldiers Died in the Great War" confirms that Thomas Herbert Sellars resided in Skelton and served in the 7th Yorks Battalion with other details as given above.
Thomas was born in Pickering in the second quarter of 1890. His name is also commemorated there on the Town Memorial and on a plaque in the Pickering Primitive Methodist Church, where it is also given as T Sellers.
1891. Thomas, aged a few months, is living at East Gate, Pickering, N Yorks.
His father, Robert Wilson Sellars, aged 40, is an Agricultural Labourer.
His mother is Betsy, aged 31. He has an older brother Edward, 13, and sisters Mary H, 12, Annie, 10, Sarah, 6, Betsy Ann, 4, and Minnie, 3.
Thomas' mother must have died some time before December 1893, as in this year his father re-married Lucy Elizabeth Foster.
1901. The family are now living at the Farm of John Braithwaite at Bedford Grange, Pickering Marshes.
His father is a labourer on the farm, his step-mother, Lucy is the Housekeeper, his elder sister Betsy is listed as a Servant Domestic.
Thomas and a step-sister Lucy Elizabeth, both age 11, are the only children now at home.
1911. Thomas is a Boarder at 19 Gerrie St, Boosbeck, N Yorks and working in the Ironstone Mines as a Horse Driver.
The family he is lodging with is that of his sister, Sarah, now aged 26. She is married to Harold Pickering, 29, and has two children, Frances, 3 and Greta, 1.
Thomas must have moved to Skelton some time before 1914.
The 7th Battalion of the Yorkshire Regiment were in the 50th Brigade of the 17th [Northern] Division.
The Division went to France in July 1915 and spent its initial period of trench familiarisation and then holding the front lines in the southern area of the Ypres salient.
In 1916 it was involved in fighting at the Bluff (south east of Ypres on the Comines canal), part of a number of engagements officially known as the Actions of Spring 1916.
It was then sent South to take part in the British offensive on the Somme.
It took part in the Battle of Albert when it captured Fricourt and then the Battle of Delville Wood.
By the early part of 1917 the 7th Battalion were defending the trenches gained in the Somme battles
Thomas Sellars was wounded and died at the Grove Town Casualty Station on the 17th February.
Meaulte is a village just south of Albert.
In September 1916, the 34th and 2/2nd London Casualty Clearing Stations were established at this point, known to the troops as Grove Town, to deal with casualties from the Somme battlefields.
They were moved in April 1917 and, except for a few burials in August and September 1918, the cemetery was closed.
Grove Town Cemetery contains 1,395 First World War burials.