Friends of the Somme - Mid Ulster Branch  
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4797   Private Thomas Gates
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Dated added: 30/12/2015   Last updated: 22/03/2018
Personal Details
Regiment/Service: 15th Battalion, Australian Infantry (Australian Army)
Died: 15/10/1917 (Killed in Action)
Age: 24
Summary      
Thomas Gates was a son of John and Rebecca Gates. He was born at Derrymeen, Coalisland about 1893. Around 1914, Thomas emigrated to Australia. He was 21. He worked as a farm labourer. He enlisted at Kingaroy, Queensland on 21 Sept 1915. Private Thomas Gates was posted to the 15th Battalion of the Australian Infantry. On 30 May 1917, he was transferred to England where he was admitted to Northampton War Hospital with influenza. By t September 1917, he was back in France. On 15 October 1917 Private Gates was reported wounded in action. On 20 December 1917, after previously being reported wounded, Private Thomas Gates was now reported as Killed In Action. Private Thomas Gates was killed in action in Belgium on 15th October 1917, age: 24.
Further Information
Thomas Gates was a son of John and Rebecca Gates. He was born at Derrymeen, Coalisland about 1893.
The 1901 census records 7 year old Thomas living with the family at Tartlaghan, Drumaspil, Tyrone. His father was a farm labourer
Family: John Gates (born about 1861), Rebecca Gates (born about 1864), William John Gates (born about 1887), Samuel Gates (born about 1888), Rebecca Gates(born about 1890), Matthew Gates (born about 1892), Thomas Gates (born about 1894), Robert Gates (born about 1896),Margret Gates (born about 1900), David Gates (born about 1902), Alexander Gates (born about 1906).
By the time of 1911 census, Thomas no longer lived with the family. The family now lived at Corrainy, Drumaspil, Tyrone. It's possible he was working as a servant for the Douglas family at house 1 in Tulnagall, Crossdernot, Tyrone (see references).
Around 1914, Thomas emigrated to Australia. He was 21. He worked as a farm labourer.
1915
He enlisted at Kingaroy, Queensland on 21 Sept 1915. Private Thomas Gates jaws posted to the 15th Battalion of the Australian Infantry.
From the Tyrone Courier dated 23rd September 1915: Dungannon Men at the Dardanelles (Matthew Gates – brother of Thomas Gates)
The relatives of Private M Gates, 6th Inniskilling Fusiliers, who is at present at the Dardanelles, have received a letter from him stating that he is at present in good health and asking to be remembered to all his old friends.
From the Mid Ulster Mail dated 25th September 1915: Private Gates well (Matthew Gates – brother of Thomas Gates)
Private Matthew Gates, 6th Battalion Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers, who formerly resided at Coalisland, and volunteered with the U.V.F. men at the outbreak of the war, in writing from the Dardanelles says:- ‘Just a few lines hoping to find you all well at home. I am getting along well here and would like to tell all the folk that I was asking about them.’
1916
From the Belfast Newsletter dated 6th July 1916: (brothers of Thomas Gates)
Two sons of Mr John Gates, Milltown, Dungannon, are also in hospital suffering from wounds – Private Samuel Gates, Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers (Tyrone Volunteers), being in hospital in London, while his brother, Private Matthew Gates, Inniskilling Fusiliers, is in hospital in Salonika. These casualties apparently occurred prior to the ‘big push’ as the intimations are dated 30th June.
From the Mid Ulster Mail dated Saturday 8th July 1916: Dungannon Volunteers Wounded (brothers of Thomas Gates)
Mr John Gates, Milltown, Dungannon, has received intimation that his son, Private Samuel Gates, of the 9th Inniskilling (Tyrones) has been wounded in action, and is in hospital in London. He enlisted shortly after the outbreak of war with a lathe number of the Dungannon Battalion U.V.F. His brother, Private Matthew Gates, of the 6th Battalion Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers, is still in hospital in Salonika, suffering from wounds received some time ago, while the third brother, Thomas Gates, of the Australia Expeditionary Force is on active duty at Salonika.
From the Mid Ulster Mail dated Saturday 15th July 1916: (brother of Thomas Gates)
Private Samuel Gates, Tyrone Volunteers, returned to Dungannon suffering from shell shock sustained during the fierce bombardment prior to the advance in France.
From the Tyrone Courier dated 20th July 1916: (brothers of Thomas Gates)
Private Samuel Gates, Tyrone Volunteers, has returned home to Milltown, Dungannon suffering from shell shock.
On 24 September 1916, Thomas marched to Etaples from England. By 2 October, he had joined up with the 15th battalion.
1917
On 30 May 1917, he was admitted to Wimereux Australian General Hospital with influenza. He was transferred to England where he was admitted to Northampton War Hospital On 23 July 1917 he was discharged from hospital.
From the Belfast Newsletter dated 6th June 1917:
Private Thomas Gates, Australian Infantry, son of Mr Matthew Gates, Brooke Street, Dungannon, wounded.
From the Tyrone Courier dated Thursday 7 June 1917:
Private Thomas Gates, Australian Infantry, who has been wounded and in hospital in Northampton, is the youngest of the three soldier sons of Mr Matthew Gates, Milltown, Dungannon.
From the Tyrone Courier dated 12th July 1917: Wounded (Private S Gates - brother of Private Thomas Gates)
The following local men are officially reported wounded:- Company Sergeant Major G Belshaw, Private S Gates, Private W Millar (Stewartstown), Private W Moore, Corporal S Proctor (Coalisland), Private G McCauley, Sergeant G McKinstry, Private R A Montgomery (Coalisland), Private T Scott, Private S Hegarty, Sergeant W J Caddoo, Private J Brittian (Aughnacloy).
By the 5 September 1917, he was back in France again. On the 22 Sept 1917 he rejoined 15th battalion. On 15 October 1917 Private Gates was reported wounded in action. On 20 December 1917, after previously being reported wounded, Private Thomas Gates was now reported as Killed In Action.
Private Thomas Gates was killed in action in Belgium on 15th October 1917, age: 24.
From the Belfast Newsletter dated 14th November 1917:
Private Thomas Gates, Australian Imperial Force, died of wounds, son of Mr John Gates, 19 Brooke Street, Dungannon. Two other sons of Mr Gates are on active service.
From the Tyrone Courier and News dated Thursday 15 November 1917:
Mr John Gates, 19 Brooke Street, Dungannon, has received official intimation that his son, Private Thomas Gates, Australian Imperial Force, has died of wounds received in action. This soldier had emigrated to Australia and volunteered on the outbreak of war. Mr Gates' other two sons, Matthew and Samuel, are serving with the colours.
His next of kin was listed as his father, John Gates, whose address was given as Perry St, Dungannon, but then updated to 19 Brook St Milltown, Dungannon
Brook Street, Milltown, Dungannon
His mother was listed as the recipient of his War pension.
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Relevant Dungannon Area Locations
No Location Region Location Notes Longtitude Latitude
1 Tartlaghan, Drumaspil Killyman Census listing in Tartlaghan, Drumaspil 54.510868 -6.706824
References and Links
No Link Reference Doc
1 1901 Census lists Gates family Lists Thomas as age 7 at house 8 in Tartlaghan, Drumaspil, Tyrone
2 1911 Census lists Gates family Does not list Thomas at house 18 in Corrainy, Drumaspil, Tyrone
3 Australian Embarkation Roll Embarkation Roll - Thomas Gates
4 Australian Military Documents Military Papers (35 no) for Private Thomas Gates
5 Australian Nominal Roll Nominal Roll - Thomas Gates
6 Australian Roll of Honour Roll of Honour - Thomas Gates
7 Possible 1911 Census listing Possibly shows Thomas living with Douglas family at house 1 in Tulnagall, Crossdernot, Tyrone
Dungannon District's War Dead Acknowledgements 2015-2018