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Tracing Your Roots To Gallipoli

Remembering some of the Bolton men who lost their lives in the Gallipoli Campaign of 1915

Albert Thornley

Albert ThornleyBolton Journal and Guardian 10 September 1915

Lost with the Royal Edward

Several Boltonians were on board the Royal Edward when she was torpedoed and sunk in the Mediterranean on the 13th August...

Another Bolton soldier to be reported “missing, believed drowned” is Pte. Albert Thornley, of the King’s Own Scottish Borderers, who enlisted in January. He was 20 years of age, and lodged with Mrs. Hulme at 4, Pool-terrace, Smithills. He was brought up at Eden’s Orphanage. He was a capable swimmer, and gained the certificate of the Royal Humane Society in 1905. As a boy he attended the Saviour’s Church, where he obtained many prizes for religious knowledge. Prior to enlisting he was employed at Messrs’ R. H. Ainsworth, Son and Co., Limited’s croft, Halliwell. He was a regular attender at the Smithills Chapel, where he was a member of the choir, and a Sunday school teacher. He played at cricket several times for Christ Church, Heaton, and is on their roll of honour, which contains the names of about 20 members of about 40 on the club’s books. He also played at football for St. Peter’s. He wrote to Mrs. Hulme from Malta, enclosing a photograph of the Royal Edward, and promising to write upon arrival at the Dardanelles. His death is keenly felt by those who knew him, for he was a most genial and respected young man.

Albert was the son of Richard Baxter Thornley b.1869, a millwright, and Alice Thornley née Hart b.1869.

Albert first appeared on the 1901 Census living at 105 Ellesmere Street with his parents and siblings Margaret b.1896, Richard Baxter b.1898 and James b.1900.

Albert's father died in 1903. His mother, Alice, remarried to Mark Wadsworth in Bolton in 1906.

By 1911 Albert, his brother James and sister Lily b.1902 were were living at 110 Gibraltar Street, Bolton with their uncle Henry Holt and aunt Amelia Holt née Thornley.

Albert was at that time employed as a crofter in a bleachworks.

Albert's other brother Richard Baxter Thornley and sister Margaret were inmates of Eden's Orphanage, Astley Bridge, Bolton in 1911.

There was also another sister, Alice.

Albert's medical examination on enlisting in the Army recorded him as being 5' 8" tall and weighing 154 lbs.

He lost his life alongside hundreds of others when HMT Royal Edward was torpedoed by the German submarine UB-14 while en route from Alexandria to Lemnos. The ship was carrying 1367 officers and men destined for Gallipoli.


Name Thornley, Albert
Rank Private
Number 19188
Unit 1st Bn
Border Regiment
Born Bolton, Lancashire
Enlisted Bolton, Lancashire
9 January 1915
Died At sea
13 August 1915
Age 20
Grave or Memorial Helles Memorial, Gallipoli, Turkey