Thomas Abbiss was the son of Thomas and Mary Abbiss of The Straits, Lower Gornal, and his wife, Mary lived at 91 Himley Road, Lower Gornal. He enlisted in the Worcesters and was sent to the 1st Battalion on the Western Front. They were closely involved in the 1916 Battle of the Somme and early in 1917 were among those units following up the German withdrawal to the newly constructed Hindenburg Line. Withdrawal did not mean, however, that the Germans were going to give up territory easily. As the harsh weather of the winter began to recede, the Worcesters were called upon to make the first main attack of the year near Bouchavesnes. The attack started before dawn on March 4th and the troops were without the usual protection of assault trenches. Despite heavy enemy shelling the leading Worcestershire companies quickly overcame enemy resistance. Counterattacks and heavy artillery fire had to be endured for the next two days, but at the end of the action an important position had been won. The losses for the battalion, however, had been quite heavy with six officers and 44 men killed and 4 officers and 158 men wounded. Among the wounded was Private Thomas Abbiss who was 27 years of age and is commemorated on the Thiepval and Dudley Memorials.
Town Hall, Priory Street, Dudley
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