Thomas was working as a Labourer in the Oakwood district north of Inverell when he enlisted in December 1915 and agreed to serve from 12 January 1916. He was born in Sydney in 1893, the son of Percy and Margaret Mason. Thomas joined with other Inverell district men to become one of the First Contingent of The Kurrajongs who left together for the Narrabri and Armidale camps. Just before his departure he was given an ornate inscribed medal by his Oakwood friends.
Thomas became a member of the 33rd Battalion, D Company, which trained at Armidale and Rutherford prior to sailing from Australia on HMAT A74 Marathon in May 1916. After nine weeks at sea, the Battalion arrived in England where further training was undertaken at Salisbury Plain. This Battalion became part of the 3rd Division which was sent to France in November and initially camped at Armentieres.
During heavy fighting in October 1917 Thomas was wounded and returned to England with a gunshot wound to his wrist. In December he was ill and admitted to Forvant Military Hospital. He then spent several months in and out of hospitals in England before returning to Australia in 1918 and medically discharged.
Private Thomas Mason is remembered at Inverell where his name is inscribed on the town's Honor Roll and the beautiful timber Oakwood Honor Roll housed at the Inverell Pioneer Village.
Photo: submitted by family