Lt Thaddeus* Francis McCarthy, 4th Battalion, Loyal North Lancashire Regiment

Thaddeus Francis McCarthy was the youngest of the eleven sons of Michael and Ursula McCarthy. He was born on the 14 March 1896 and he, his brothers and sisters lived on Talbot Street in the village of Whitwick in Leicestershire. He was very bright and attended the Convent Private School in Whitwick before joining Loughborough Grammar School in September 1908 where he studied for five years until 13 July 1913. He left to join a solicitor's office in Leicester aged 17 years and 4 months.

In December 1915, immediately after passing his intermediate law exams aged 20, when he was articled to Mr R A Loseby, Solicitor of Leicester, he joined the 28th Battalion County of London Regiment (Artists Rifles) as Private. He received his commission for 2nd Lieutenant in September 1916 to the 4th Battalion, Loyal North Lancashire Regiment. He spent his 21st birthday in the trenches and was wounded in the arm in August 1917. He was awarded the MC for gallantry in the field. The award was gazetted on the 26 September 1917 and the statement read:

When in charge of the battalion carrying and rations parties, he carried out his work with the greatest coolness and ability, and although by reason of the heavy shell fire it was of a most arduous and dangerous nature, it was due to his exertions and personal supervision that rations arrived regularly. On another occasion during an attack, he led his men forward with great coolness, setting a fine example to those around him. He afterwards took over and reorganized another company whose officers had all become casualties.

In March 1918 he was promoted to Lieutenant. He was killed in action at Bailleul on 14 April 1918 aged 22.

The Coalville Times of April 26th 1918 reported:

"Mr. Michael McCarthy, C.C., Chairman of the Coalville Urban Council, and Mrs. McCarthy of New Swannington, on Wednesday received a telegram from the War Office, conveying the sad intelligence that their youngest son, Lieutenant T. F. McCarthy of the Loyal North Lancashire Regiment, was killed in action in France on April 14th."

When he died the family were living at New Swannington House in Whitwick and the Probate record shows that his effects totalled £186 12s 8d

He is commemorated on Panel 7 of the Ploegsteert Memorial, Comines-Warneton, Hainaut, Belgium

14 April 1918

Lt-T-F-McCarthy---4th-Btn-Loyal-North-Lancs---Ploegstert-Memorial

Lt-T-F-McCarthy---4th-Btn-Loyal-North-Lancs---Ploegstert-Memorial-2

*His first name has often been misread and written as Thaddens, as it is on the Commonwealth War Graves website.

With thanks to Josephine Dunn for the information she has added to Ancestry in the public domain.

Research: with thanks to Karen Ette for the Loughborough Grammar School Roll of Honour.

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