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Driver Moffatt Thompson
252nd then 72nd Brigade, Royal Field Artillery
Born 1889 Patterdale. Died Aug 1969, Yorkshire
Son of Edmund and Elizabeth Thompson Noran Bank and Side Farm Patterdale
Husband of Edith Hall
Father of Edith Frances and Hilda Brownlee
Brother of Edmund & Thomas, and Brownrigg Thompson
Moffatt Thompson was born in early 1889 and baptised on 31st march of that year at St Patrick’s Church in Patterdale. He was second youngest of 10 children born to Edmund and Elizabeth Thompson. At the time of his birth his father was working as a farmer and lead miner and the family was living at Noran Bank Farm. More information on his family is detailed in the story of his elder brothers Edmund and Thomas Thompson.
Moffat would have attended Patterdale School with his siblings and on leaving school we believe he worked as a shepherd, whilst living with his father at Side Farm. In March 1908 we know that he fathered a child, Hilda, but he did not marry her mother Isabella Brownlee. Isabella was from Hartsop and was the daughter of Jas Brownlee, who worked as a slate dresser at the mine there.
On 10th April 1912, Moffatt married Edith Hall, the daughter of John Hall, who had been working as a housekeeper at Grisedale Lodge for Robert Grisedale, the step father of Alexander, John and Raymond Lancaster.
Moffatt enlisted on 11th December 1915 to the Royal Field Artillery (RFA). At the time his stated occupation was given as a farm baliff and he was living with Edith at Market Square in Cartmel in Furness. Shortly afterwards, on 22nd January 1916 Edith gave birth to a daughter, Edith Frances. Moffatt was mobilised on the 23rd August 1916 and posted to the 8th Reserve Battery, and shortly afterwards, on the 28th August, he and Edith moved to 15 Murton Street, Keighly in Yorkshire.
Although we have copies of Moffatt’s service records the main content of them seem to focus on his relationship with his illegitimate daughter Hilda, and whether or not she qualified for the separation allowance given to families serving in the forces. By this time it appears that Hilda was living with her grand mother in Kentmere. Moffatt was already subject to a court maintenance order for Hilda and the conclusion of a military investigation in 1916 it was concluded that Moffatt should continue to support Hilda until she reached the age of 14 and therefore the required funds would be taken out of his pay packet (in true army style there was even an official form for the purpose Army Form B282 -
Meanwhile Moffatt was posted to France on the 5th November 1916. He joined B Battery of 72 Army Brigade RFA. When he joined the unit they were enjoying a short lived rest period from the line but were rotated back into the line from the 23rd November 1916, and were in position on the Somme from the start of 1917. On the 25th January 1917 Moffatt was posted to C Battery, which was in support of the Canadian Forces at Vimy Ridge from the 9th to the 12th April 1917, a battle which also included fellow dalesmen John Dewey Place and Henry Thwaites, who were both serving with the Canadian Forces. However it is probably that in fact Moffatt missed this action as on the 7th April 1917 he had been admitted to hospital with a “ICT Left Leg”. ICT was an abbreviation of Inflammation of Connective Tissue, which was a general term used for conditions such as sprains, tendon damage, cartilage problems). It would not have been too serious as he was discharged a week later.
On the 10th November 1917 Moffatt was granted leave to the UK and 5 days later he was posted to Italy, where he remained until March 1918. British forces had been sent to Italy in an effort to strengthen Italian resistance to enemy attack after a recent disaster at Caporetto. By all accounts conditions there were wonderful after the horrors of the Western Front although sadly for Moffatt and his group they were recalled to the Western Front, returning on the 28th March 1918. Other than for another short leave at Christmas 1918, Moffatt remained in France from then until his demobilisation in September 1919.
So far we have been unable to trace Moffatt and his family after the first world war although we did find the image above of him in later life on the ancestry website. We also know that his illegitimate daughter Hilda married Marian Tamborski in Cockermouth in 1949. Marian was a shoemaker from Poland. All we know of him was that he was granted naturalisation in January 1953 and at the time his address was given as Maiden Moor,Grange-
For more information on the rest of Moffatt’s family please see the information above on his brother Brownrigg and also the page we have on his older brothers Edmund and Thomas Thompson.
If you can add anything to the story of Moffatt and his family please contact us.
Moffatt Thompson’s medal Card and to the below the “Army Form B 282 relating to his daughter Hilda Brownless
Aircraft Mechanic 2nd Class Brownrigg Thompson
Royal Naval Air Service F.50615 & 251333 Royal Air Force
Born 10th February 1892, Patterdale. Died 23rd June 1941, Kendal aged 50.
Son of Edmund and Elizabeth Thompson Noran Bank and Side Farm Patterdale
Husband of Edith Lavinia James
Brother of Edmund, Thomas & Moffatt Thompson
Brownrigg Thompson was born in February 1892 in Patterdale. His father Edmund was at that time working as a farmer and lead miner st Noran Bank Farm in Patterdale. Brownrigg was the youngest of Edmund and his wife Elizabeth’s ten children. More information on the family and their life is provided in the biography of Brownrigg’s elder brothers Edmund and George Thompson. Brownrigg would have attended Patterdale School with his siblings. We’re not sure exactly what he did after he left school as we have so far not found him in the 1911 census records.
We know that he married Edith Lavinia James in Kendal 1913. Unlike his elder brothers it appears that Brownrigg did not join up at the start of World War War. From what we can find from his service records it appears that he joined the Royal Naval Air Service late on in the war on the 21st February 1918. At the time his occupation was listed as a “supervisor of wood working”. He was initially posted to HMS President II, the Royal Naval shore based training establishment at Chatham. However by the end of March 1918 he had been moved to the Naval Aviation depot at Chingford, and it was here that he transferred to the Royal Air Force, which was formed on 1st April 1918 through the amalgamation of the Royal Flying Corps (RFC) and the Royal Naval Air Service (RNAS). On the 5th April he was posted to the Depot at Tregantle. This base was an aircraft storage depot in Cornwall, which was also used for training Aircraft Mechanics. From here he was posted to the 10th Training Depot Station, where he remained for the rest of 1918, being promoted to Aircraft Mechanic second class in August 1918. On 7th February 1918 he was posted to the Heaton Park Despatch Centre in Manchester, from where he was finally discharged from the RAF on the 30th April 1919. At some point he must have served overseas as he qualified for the British War Medal (see below).
After the war it appears that Brownrigg returned to Kendal, where he lived with his wife Edith until his death on the 23rd June 1941. Edith continued living in Kendal until her death on 3rd June 1965. She left her estate to an “Edmund Thompson”, and insurance official whom we assume to be their son.
If you can add anything to the story of Brownrigg and his family please contact us.
Brownrigg Thompson’s RAF Service Record above and Naval service record below
Brownrigg’s Naval Medal Record below -