Thomas Galbraith MM

Feb 14, 1889

Born in Kelso Scotland


Mar 17, 1915

Attested into the 21st Battalion at Kingston Ontario

Ø  Number 59348 (temporary number 1287)

Ø  Next of kin given as Thomas Galbraith (father) of Graden, Kelso, Roxboroughshire, Scotland

Ø  Previous occupation given as “Groom”

Ø  Previous military experience given as 3 years + 6 weeks in the 5th Seaforth Highlanders

Ø  Stated to be single

Ø  Religion given as Presbyterian


May 6, 1915

Embarked the RMS Metagama in Montreal, Quebec



May 15, 1915

Disembarked at Devonport, England and proceeded to West Sandling Camp, near Hythe, Kent


Sep 14, 1915

Embarked the St. Seiriol at Folkstone



Sep 15, 1915

Disembarked at Boulogne France and the battalion proceeded to St Omer


Oct 15, 1915

Sentenced to 5 days Field Punishment No 2 for being absent from 1.45 pm parade

Note that the Battalion was parading at La Clytte in order to proceed into the front line to relieve the 20th Battalion


Dec 26, 1915

Appointed to rank of Lance Corporal with pay to replace L/Cpl WL York 60106, who had been promoted


Apr 2, 1916

Promoted to rank of Corporal to replace Cpl RH Bliss 59703 who had been hospitalized in England


May 22, 1916

Granted 9 days leave


May 31, 1916

At duty from leave


Aug 25, 1916

Promoted to rank of Lance Sergeant to replace L/Sgt Kettridge 59546 who had been promoted


Sep 15, 1916

Promoted to rank of Sergeant to replace Sgt EC Weston 60049 who had been killed in action


Nov 20, 1916

Admitted to No 5 CFA (Canadian Field Ambulance) then transferred to No 4 CFA, then transferred to the CRS (Canadian Rest Station) with Laryngitis


Nov 23, 1916

Transferred to No 4 CFA


Dec 12, 1916

Transferred to No 7 Canadian General Hospital, Havre, with inflamed Larynx


Dec 17, 1916

Discharged to Base Details


Dec 20, 1916

TOS (Taken On Strength) CBD (Canadian Base Depot) in the Rouelles Camp, Havre


Jan 3, 1917

Left CBD to join unit


Jan 7, 1917

Rejoined 21st Battalion in Division Reserve in Bully Grenay


Jan 17, 1917

During the battalion’s trench raid at Calonne, Sgt Galbraith shrapnel wounds to his right thigh and sent to the No. 5 CFA (Canadian Field Ambulance) for first aid, then transferred to No 6 CCS (Casualty Clearing Station) for further treatment.

Later same day, transferred via No 12 AT (Ambulance Train)


Jan 18, 1917

Admitted to No 11 General Hospital at Camiers


Feb 3, 1917

Transferred to No 6 Convalescent Hospital at Etaples


Feb 7, 1917

Transferred to No 5 Convalescent Hospital at Cayeux


Mar 12, 1917

Awarded Military Medal, London Gazette #29981


This was for action during the Calonne Trench Raid, January 17, 1917



Apr 3, 1917

Discharged to the base depot at Havre


Apr 12, 1917

Left the base depot to rejoin 21st Battalion in the front line on Vimy Ridge, north of the town of Thélus


Apr 19, 1917

Thomas’ brother, William Galbraith was killed in action while serving with the 1st/4th Battalion, King’s Own Scottish Borders and was buried in the Gaza War Cemetery, Gaza Strip, Israel


May 16, 1917

Thomas Galbraith fractured his right leg that was reported to be an accident.  This happened while in the Brigade Rest Camp in Aux Rietz.  He was initially treated by the battalion’s Medical Officer 

Maj TF Elmitt signed an investigation report and stated that while in the rest camp, the soldier had the accident while assisting his platoon in cleaning up for an inspection.

The War Diary reports that the Battalion was inspected by Lieut-Gen Sir J Byng, KCB, KCMG, MVO, on May 19, 1917, 3 days after the accident.


May 17, 1917

Admitted to No 6 CCS with a fractured leg described as a Potts fracture, which is a vertical fracture extending up from the ankle.


May 21, 1917

Transferred to No 8 Stationary Hospital at Wimereux with a broken leg, attributed to an accident. 


May 27, 1917

Invalided to England aboard the Hospital Ship St Patrick



On arrival in England he was admitted to the Dundee War Hospital

Posted to the EORD (Eastern Ontario Regimental Depot) for pay purposes while in hospital


Jul 4, 1917

Transferred to the Military Convalescent Hospital at Epsom


Aug 17, 1917

Discharged from hospital and On Command to 3rd CCD (Canadian Convalescent Depot)


Sep 10, 1917

Will made out leaving everything to his father, Thomas Galbraith of Holefield, Roxburghshire, Scotland


Nov 29, 1917

Posted to the 6th Reserve Battalion at Seaford


Jul 21, 1918

Posted to the 21st Battalion


Jul 22, 1918

Arrived at the No. 2 CIBD (Canadian Infantry Base Depot) in Etaples, France and TOS the 21st Battalion


Jul 27, 1918

Left CIBD and joined the 21st Battalion resting in Nissan Huts in Agnez lez Duisans, France


Aug 8, 1918

Appointed to the rank of Acting Company Sergeant Major to replace CSM RH Stewart 59918 who had been wounded


Aug 27, 1918

A/CSM Thomas Galbraith was instantly killed while taking part in an attack on the enemy’s lines, between the village of Guemappe and the Sensee River, south-east of Vis-en-Artois.  He was later buried in the Tigris Lane British Cemetery, Wancourt, France


Following the war, the 1914-15 Star, British War Medal, Victory Medal, Plaque (Dead Man’s Penny) and Scroll were sent to his father, Thomas Galbraith, Holefield, Kelso, Roxburghshire, Scotland

 There was no Memorial Cross issued

Thomas Galbraith is honoured , along with his brother William, on the
Kelso, Scotland War Memorial



Thomas is also honoured on the
War Memorial in Sprouston, Scotland




For the 7 nights leading up to November 11, 2010, the names of all Canadian soldiers were projected onto the Belgian War Memorial in Ypres.  At the same time, the same names were being broadcast via the internet to schools across Belgium and Canada.  The image above shows the opening ceremonies at the Belgian War Memorial on November 4, 2010. 

Below on the left is the name of Thomas Galbraith being projected on that wall.  Below right shows the name being broadcast to the schools.  Each name appeared for 25 seconds and each night 9,700 names were shown.

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