Thomas Bruton was the son of Harry and Margaret Bruton of Dudley and was married to Esther of 10 The Roothings, Heybridge, Essex. He enlisted in the Worcesters and went to the Western Front where he served in the 4th Battalion. He was promoted Sergeant and it was probably on the Somme that he was awarded the Military Medal for gallantry. He was commissioned, probably in 1917, to the 4th Battalion and was in the Ypres salient when the German Spring offensives started in March 1918. The second offensive was on the River Lys and aimed once more at Ypres. The 4th were in reserve when the German attack began on the 9th April and were soon called up to defend the village of Neuve Eglise. The defence was desperate and the German forces drove the Worcesters through Bailleul to the Ravelsberg. By August the German advance was spent and the Allied advance to victory had begun. On the 30th the Worcesters were ordered to the front line again to take part in a major advance. They marched through the ruins of Bailleul and from released prisoners understood that the enemy were retiring. Their machine gunners, however, were still very active and in the successful advance on the 1st September Second Lieutenant Thomas Bruton was killed. He was 28 years of age and is buried in Bailleul Communal Cemetery Extension (III H 1) and commemorated on the Dudley Memorial. His brother, Harry, was killed on the 9th October 1917.
Town Hall, Priory Street, Dudley
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