Reginald and Gordon were the elder and younger of three sons of Jessie and Harry Thomas of Inverell. They were both born at Inverell and attended Inverell Public School.
Reginald had been Colour Sergeant in the School Cadets. When he enlisted at Rockhampton Queensland in April 1915 he was a twenty five year old Bank Accountant. He joined the 25th Battalion and served in France where he was Killed in Action on 10 June 1918. Sergeant Thomas was buried at Beacon Military Cemetery, Morlancourt, near Corbie and at Inverell a Memorial Service was held for him at the Anglican Church. He is remembered at Inverell where his name is inscribed on the Cenotaph and Honor Roll. Reginald was also one of the 215 men for whom a memorial tree was planted in Kurrajong Parade in 1919.
Gordon enlisted in January 1916 when he was a twenty one year old Wool classer. He joined other Inverell district men to form the First Contingent of The Kurrajongs. These men left Inverell together on 12 January 1916 bound 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. After nine weeks at sea, the Battalion arrived in England where further training took place at Salisbury Plain. He wrote to his father describing the camp as ‘… about ten miles from Salisbury Station … the camp is quite a township … there are no tents, but we are all housed in wood and iron buildings, each accommodating about 25 to 30 men…’
Gordon was promoted to Corporal in July 1916, then L/Sergeant prior to going to France in November that year. He was later promoted to Sergeant. Gordon returned to Australia in June 1919 and was discharged in August. Later that year Gordon was one of ninety one soldiers who applied for soldier settler’s blocks at Pindari, north of Inverell. He was one of ten successful applicants.
Sergeant Thomas has his name inscribed on the Inverell Honor Roll.
Photo: Sergeant Gordon Thomas, private collection