Capt Joseph Thompson, Manchester Regiment

1888 Sep 22. Born Middletown, Armagh

1901 census at Newtownards Road, Belfast

He attended Mercantile College, Belfast ((now Belfast High School), and went on to Queens University Belfast

1911 census at 157 in Stranmillis Road, Belfast

Joseph's younger brother, Ernest William, served with 14th Royal Irish Rifles (S/N 14/16016) and Tank Corps (S/N 75286).
Both brothers are listed in the PCI Roll of Honour for the St John's (Newtownbreda) congregation, although Joseph is recorded as "Wounded" and not as a wartime fatality

Given that we know from newspaper reports that he was science master at Methodist College Belfast, this, given his address is where he must have been teaching in 1911, and gone to Winchester soon afterwards if he was to have worked there 3 years

1914 Nov 14. Commissioned into Manchester Regt. I cannot work out why the Manchesters

1915 Feb 1. He was promoted from 2nd Lt to Lt then Capt on the same day . The undermentioned temporary Second Lieutenants to be temporary Lieutenants . Joseph Thompson.

1915 Feb 1. The Manchester Regiment. 13th Battalion. The Manchester Regiment. 13th Battalion. The undermentioned to be temporary Captains: Temporary Lieutenant Joseph Thompson.

1915 Sep 6 Posted to France

1915 Nov 6 Posted to Salonica

1916 Dec 30 Back in UK

1917 Jan 19. Gets a Regular, rather than Temp, Commission. Regular Forces. Manch. R.— The undermentioned officers to be Capts., and to retain any higher rank or seniority whilst holding their present appts.:Temp. Capt. J. Thompson, from a Serv. Bn.

1917 May 6. Posted to France

1918 Jul 18. Manch. Reg . Capt. J. Thompson to be actg. Maj. while 2nd in comd. of a Bn.

1918 Sep . The history of the 12th Battalion has a single mention of a Captain J Thompson, taking temporary command of the battalion whilst the CO was on leave, in September 1918. It is not certain that this is him.

1918 Nov 1. Manchester Regt. Capt. J. Thompson relinquishes the actg. rank of Maj.. on ceasing to be 2nd in comd. of a Bn.

1919 Jan 5. Posted to UK

1919 Dec 31. Quarterly Army List, Thompson, Joseph (Temp. 2nd Lt. 14 Nov. 1914 to 31 Jan. 1915)(Temp. Capt. 1 Feb. 1915 to 18 Jan. 1917). Captain Manch. R. 19th Jan. 1917 (actg. Maj. 12 Bn. Manch. R. 18 Jul. 1918 to 31 Oct. 1918 and 16th Dec. 1918) . 1914-19. Despatches, Lond. Gaz. 9 July 1919.

1920 Mar 17 Croix de Guerre.Captain Joseph Thompson, Manchester Regiment.

1920 March 1st Battalion Manchester Regt proceeded to Ireland at notice on account of the increasing disturbance and was stationed at Kilworth Camp, Co. Cork a Musketry Camp near Fermoy. The Battalion performed various duties but the area was still comparatively quiet.

1920 Jul . A move was made to Ballincollig, Co Cork an Old Cavalry Barracks, which had been formed into an Ordnance Store for the whole of the South of Ireland. The duty of guarding the stores was assigned to the Battalion, and, in addition, a detachment of two companies was formed at Macroom, which again found outposts at Ballyvourney, Inchigeela and Millstreet.

The Rebels' action against the troops by now was increasing and took the form of ambushes for soldiers in lorries, chiefly with the idea of obtaining arms, etc. Greater precautions had, therefore, to be taken, when stores, etc., were being sent. Two ambushes against troops men in the out-stations, and, unfortunately, in both of these encounters we lost an officer, Captain Airy being killed in July and Lieutenant Sharman, R.A., attached to the Battalion, in September.

1920 Nov 21. Acting I/O of the 1st Battalion, Manchester Regiment, is captured and shot by the IRA at Model Farm Rd, Carrigrohane between Ballincollig and Cork City. Two Auxiliary Intelligence Officers had gone missing here 2 weeks previously, and one can surmise that this may have been why Thompson was in the area. Or he may just have been going in to Cork for whatever reason.

The dead body of Capt Thompson was found been found in turnip field 4 miles away from the barracks near Bishopstown

Buried Belfast City Cemetery

Photo of his grave by Nigel Henderson in 2012

1920 Nov 24. Court of Inquiry in Victoria Barracks, Cork. The details of the inquest showed that he had been blindfolded and shot twice in the head at close range

1921 Jun 27. One of his killers, Leo Murphy was believed, by the British, to have been shot on a later raid by the Manchesters under their new Intelligence Officer Lt Vining

British Soldiers shot in Ireland