Thomas was born at Newcastle, England about 1890 and was the son of John Milburn. When he enlisted in December 1915 he was working as a Farm Labourer at Delungra, probably with Mr. G.F. Lewis. Thomas joined other district men to form the First Contingent of The Kurrajongs who left Inverell together on 10 January 1916. They travelled by train to Narrabri and then the Armidale camp.
Thomas became a member of the 33rd Battalion, B Company, which trained at Armidale and Rutherford prior to sailing from Australia on HMAT A74 Marathon on 4 May 1916. His Battalion arrived in England after nine weeks at sea, and further training was undertaken at Salisbury Plain before they were sent to France in November. Thomas was appointed Driver in February 1917. During 1918 he became ill and in November was invalided back to England with pneumonia. He obtained his discharge in London and went to live at Jesmond, Newcastle on Tyne where he married Barbara Greenfield in 1919.
Private Milburn is remembered at Inverell where his name is inscribed on the town’s Honor Roll. At Delungra his name is on the Honor Roll and the new memorial at Anzac Park.