Major Thomas Egbert Howorth

Thomas Egbert Howorth was born in Ashton-under-Lyne on the 19th of January 1878.

Thomas Egbert Howorth

In 1898 he contracted paratyphoid A and although he recovered it led to a certain amount of weakness in his lower right leg.

Appointed Lieutenant with the 3rd Volunteer Battalion Manchester Regiment on July 27, 1901, he maintained that rank and retained his seniority when the 3rd Volunteer Battalion became the 9th Battalion Manchester Regiment on April 1, 1908. On May 20th of the following year he was promoted to Captain. Prior to the outbreak of war, he was employed as a Cotton Salesman by Redgrave Mill, Manchester.

He sailed with the 9th battalion to Egypt in September 1914 and served with them there during their training and preparation for action. Contemporaneous reports from 2/Lt. Ned Stringer indicate that during November 1914 Howorth was ill for at least a month and so was sent to Helwan to recuperate for a few days and was then able to take 10 days leave from December 10-24 along with Capt. Hamer. While still in Egypt, he was promoted to temporary Major on February 9, 1915 before landing with the battalion in Gallipoli on May 9, 1915 as “A” Company’s Commanding Officer.

On June 19, 1915 he was admitted to No 11 Casualty Clearing Station suffering from diarrhea, headache and high temperature. He was transferred to a hospital ship the following day arriving at Mudros on June 21st. At Mudros he was admitted to No 16 Stationary Hospital and treated for Colic.  Since he had contracted Enteric Fever 17 years previously he was advised not be inoculated at Gallipoli. He was discharged for duty 8 days later but he was not a well man and on July 20th he was sent sick to hospital and medically evacuated to Malta. He disembarked the Hospital Ship Neuralia on July 25 at Valetta and was immediately admitted to the Military Hospital Mtarfa, seriously ill with Enteric Fever with haemorrhages.

He was medically assessed at Mtarfa on December 4, 1915 and they commented that his temperature had only returned to normal on October 20th, almost 3 months after he arrived. He was convalescing slowly but had now started to regain weight after becoming extremely emaciated.  He was recommended for evacuation to England and on December 19, 1915 boarded the Hospital Ship Massilia at Valetta bound for England. He arrived at Southampton 10 days later and was sent to the 1st Southern General Hospital, Edgbaston. He underwent a slow recovery in England but on August 10, 1916 he was medically assessed at Filey Camp and pronounced fit for General Service.

He rejoined the Battalion in November 1916 as a newly appointed Major (Gazetted November 2, 1916) and served with them in Egypt. In December 1916 he took over command of “C” Company, replacing Captain Oliver Jepson Sutton. He briefly assumed temporary command of the Battalion from February 18-20, 1917.

He sailed with the Battalion to France in March 1917 and by April was Commanding Officer of “A” Company. He spent a week  attending a course of instruction for Company Commanders at Montigny from April 1-7. On June 25, 1917 he was slightly wounded at Havrincourt Wood but remained on duty at his post. He took leave to England from July 20th to August 2nd and attended a Summer rest camp for 12 days from September 15th to 29th while the Battalion was at Ypres. On December 14th he attended an RFC course for senior Officers and then proceeded to the UK on leave for two weeks, rejoining the Battalion on January 11, 1918.

On March 21, 1918 the 9th Manchesters were serving in the 198th Brigade of the 66th (2nd/East Lancashire) Division. The 9th Battalion were in the support line at Hervilly, East of Péronne, on the evening of March 20, 1918. The entire divisional front came under an intense artillery and gas bombardment starting at 4.40am and the Battalion was quickly moved up towards the front.  By 4pm on the afternoon of March 21st, 2 Companies of the 9th Battalion were in front of Trinket redoubt at Hesbécourt. The Battalion retired through Roisel during the evening of the 22nd and early hours of the 23rd. Major Howorth was very severely wounded in the right shoulder on March 22nd and evacuated to hospital at Rouen. On the evening of March 29, 1918 he embarked at Le Havre arriving at Southampton the next day. In England he was treated at the 3rd London General Hospital, Wandsworth and struck off the strength of the 1/9th Battalion.

He remained in London until June 29, 1918 when he was transferred to an Officers’ convalescent hospital at Broad Leys House, Windermere. On July 12, 1918 he was awarded the Belgian Croix de Guerre for conspicuous gallantry for his actions in March. He was medically assessed on October 7th and awarded an additional 3 months leave. On January 9, 1919 he was again assessed and now pronounced fit for home service and recommended for re-assessment in 2 months. He was duly assessed on March 9, 1919 and pronounced fit for General Service. He had been recovering for almost one year.

On March 13, 1919 he was awarded the Territorial Decoration. Now fit, he was attached to the 1st Battalion Manchester Regiment at Kilworth Camp, County Cork, Ireland. In late September 1920 he was medically assessed for war pension and was found to have a 20% disability attributed to his war service. The report found that he appeared “frail” with a slight atrophy of the left leg, below the knee, due to his paratyphoid A contracted in Gallipoli. They also noted that his right arm was slightly weaker than his left due to the shoulder wound received in France. His own testimony recorded that since being wounded he had frequently experienced periods of dizziness.

Major T. E. Howorth Medals

Orders to reform the regiment were received in October 1920 and Lt-Col D. H. Wade was appointed Commanding Officer. A few weeks later the War Office confirmed the re-appointments of some old officers and Major Howorth joined them in July 1921.  He served with the battalion until May 26, 1928 when he retired at age 50, having reached the age limit for service, retaining the rank of Major. Earlier that year he married Florence Elizabeth Archer, a school teacher, who was almost 30 years younger than he was. They lived on Currier Lane in Ashton-under-Lyne where he was heavily involved with the Boy Scouts Movement.

Major Thomas Egbert Howorth, T.D. died on December 5, 1945. He was 67 years old.