Thomas, who was born at the Isle of Man, had only been in Australia about two years when he enlisted at Inverell in December 1915. He was a twenty three year old farmer at Delungra when he became one of the 114 men of the First Contingent of The Kurrajongs.
As a Private with the 33rd Battalion, C Company, he sailed from Sydney on HMAT A74 Marathon on 4 May 1916. This Battalion was part of the 3rd Division which trained at Salisbury Plain in England prior to being sent to France. During July 1917 Thomas was wounded in action requiring transfer to the 1st London General Hospital in England for treatment for gunshot wounds to both legs. By July 1918 he had returned to France and transferred to the 34th Battalion. Three months later he was subjected to gas poisoning at Rouen and after treatment returned to his unit.
Private Thomas Caley came back to Australia on the ship Borda in May 1919 and shortly afterwards married Gwendoline Rogers at Little Plain near Inverell. Thomas died in Sydney in 1953. His name is recorded on the Inverell Honor Roll at the Memorial Pool.
Photo: Thomas and his wife Gwendoline c1919. Private collection