64 Sapper Thomas Liddle was born in 1891 in Stirlingshire Falkirk Scotland to parents Thomas and Marion (nee Miller ) Liddle. Thomas was schooled along with his two brothers Andrew and Robert and three sisters, Isabella, Jessie and Helen. In 1906 his father died aged 51 the same year Helen his youngest sister was born.
The eldest son Andrew was now 24 and very likely became the head of the family perhaps giving Thomas the opportunity to seek out a new life away from Scotland.
Thomas would make his new home in Sydney Australia and in 1913 was working as a plumber and living independently in Botany.
In 1914 Thomas was an early volunteer, age 24 ,and was regimental number 64 and off to Engineers training camp at Moore Park.
Thomas was at the Gallipoli landing and up to the 9th May he would have been attached to the sections digging trenches and saps , making roadways to the ridges, laying barbed wire entanglements, sandbaging as well as building landing stages for the barges.
This tireless work of the engineers is often overlooked in the history of Anzac, and Thomas was a genuine casualty of overwork . He had a severe hernia and on the 9th May was shipped off to Lemnos Island on the HS ‘Gloucester Castle’ and within a few months was returning to Australia on the ‘Ballarat’ and medically discharged on the 30th August 1915.
In 1921 Thomas Liddle married Maude Chiswell and returned to his trade as a plumber and a simpler life back in Kogarah, Sydney. Maude and Thomas and three sons Thomas Jnr, Robert and Harry settled into family life and remained in the area for the next 40 plus years.
In 1939 the world was at war again and in 1942 Thomas at age 51 enlisted again and was engaged in home service with a rank of Sapper, a rank he was very familiar with and one he would have been immensely proud to hold and serve.
The only difference was his regimental number having a few more digits than the first time he enlisted, his new number was not quite the same N390842.
Due to the injury Thomas sustained at Gallipoli his war service record is short and unfortunately we will never know all of his story but he was an ANZAC, and part of a very special group of men, the 1st Field Company Engineers.
Thomas died on the 17th October 1963 and was cremated at Woronora Cemetery he was 72 years old. His wife Maude passed away a year later.
Story©Vance Kelly 2016