Thomas was born in Blackwood, VIC in 1893 to John Murphy and Margaret Kenny. They later lived in Bacchus Marsh, VIC.
Thomas was a labourer and gave his address as Bacchus Marsh when he enlisted in the AIF, 37th Battalion on the 26th of February 1916, aged 23. He embarked aboard the HMAT A34 Persic in June, disembarking at Plymouth, England in late July.
In September 1916 Thomas proceeded to France to join the 6th Battalion but in October transferred to the 59th Battalion. In November1916 he forfeited three days pay because he
broke from march without permission. In November he attended a Stokes Gun School for ten days. Thomas forfeited 10 days pay in March 1917 for being
drunk while on active service. He was detached for duty with the 15th Australian Light Trench Mortar Battery in May and transferred there permanently later that month. Thomas was granted almost two weeks leave in England in September before he was killed in action during the Battle of Polygon Wood later that month.
There is some confusion (see Red Cross files) regarding his death. According to his service record he was wounded by a shell explosion. Private Walker went to fetch a stretcher bearer to help carry him out, leaving his rifle with Thomas. Upon returning with the bearer he could not find the spot where he left Thomas. Thomas was later found dead with Walker's rifle and buried under that name in Hooge Crater Cemetery, Belgium - the error was later resolved.
He is listed on the Roll of Honour for Bacchus Marsh, held by the RSL at Bacchus Marsh.
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Last updated by lee, Fri, 03 Apr 2015 14:38:23