Thomas was born to George and Annie Pitkin near Ben Lomond NSW in 1898. With his parents consent to serve overseas, Thomas enlisted in December 1915. At this time he was a Farm Labourer at Dinton Vale north of Inverell, and a member of the Rifle Club there. He joined with other district volunteers to become one of the First Contingent of The Kurrajongs who left Inverell together on 12 January 1916 for the Narrabri and Armidale camps.
He joined the 33rd Battalion, C Company which trained at Armidale and Rutherford prior to sailing from Australia on HMAT A74 Marathon in May 1916. The Battalion arrived in England after nine weeks at sea, and further training was undertaken at Salisbury Plain before going to France in November. During the Battle of Messines Thomas was wounded and then evacuated to Northampton War Hospital in England for treatment of a severe gunshot wound to his forehead. By the middle of December he was on his way back to Australia on the hospital ship Kanowna. He was discharged in March 1918.
Six months later Thomas married Lillian Marchant at Inverell. By 1930 they were living near Inglewood, Queensland and in the 1950s at Toowoomba until moving to Southport where Thomas died in 1970.
Private Thomas Pitkin is remembered at Inverell where his name is inscribed on the town’s Honor Roll.
Photo: private collection