Thomas William 'Will' Eaton, 7th Bn Seaforth Highlanders



Thomas William 'Will' Eaton, 7th Bn Seaforth Highlanders


21629 Piper Thomas William 'Will' Eaton, 7th Bn Seaforth Highlanders


Leather-bound 21st birthday card. The leather work was made by Thomas' father (also called Thomas), who was a bookbinder in Manchester. The birthday card was given to Will when he was out of the line on his birthday.



Thomas William 'Will' Eaton was born 22 July 1896 and died 23 July 1971.

He joined the Army in August 1916 and trained as a piper. He was posted to France in early 1917. He took part in the following battles:

- 2nd Battle of Arras, 9 April-16 June 1917, including 1st and 3rd Battles of the Scarpe
- The Battalion rested at Ruellecourt, 13 June-26 July 1917
- 1st Battle of Passchendaele, 12 October 1917
- Battle of Welsh Ridge, 30-31 December 1917
- Battle of St Quentin, 21-23 March 1918
- Battle of Bapaume, 24-25 March 1918
- Battle of Messines, 10-11 April 1918
- 1st and 2nd Battles of Kemmel, 17-26 April 1918
- Outtersteene Ridge, 18 August 1918 (Flanders)
- Battle of Courtrai, 14-19 October 1918 (Flanders)
- Battle of Ooteghen, 25 October 1918

Following the war, William returned to Manchester and was employed as a cost clerk. He was known as 'Bill' to his grandchildren. The contributor remembers 'Bill' as a quiet man. He lived with the family for a while in between moving homes. He often dressed smartly in a three-piece suit. He was diabetic, smoked a pipe and supported Manchester United.

He had five brothers, three of whom fought in the Second World War: Len with 617 Sqn (Dambusters); Henry with Armoured Corps in North Africa, Italy and Greece; and Walter, who fought at Imphal and Kohima in Burma and was mentioned in despatches.




Western Front


Roy Eaton, grandson

Collection Day

King's High, Warwick

This item was submitted on June 11, 2019