Thomas Naylor's Story.Thomas Naylor Skillicon, was one of three brothers who served in WW1, and was the 21 year old son of Willian and Ellen Skillicorn of 105 Church Street, Runcorn.
As a boy he was a choirister at the Holy Trinity Church, and then upon leaving school was employed at Castner Kellner Works at Weston Point, Runcorn.
At the outbreak of the war he joined the Cheshire Regiment, 10th Battalion, going out to France in 1915. He arrived home in January 1916 after being at the front for six months.
He joined as a private, but due to his irreproachable character, his energy and ability, quickly rose to the rank of sergeant.
At first the War Office reported that he was missing, but the latest official news is that he was killed in action. When he was wounded, says the chaplain in a letter to the bereaved parents, he was in charge of a platoon. He refused to leave the field, but pluckily stuck to his post and encouraged his men to continue the fight.Among the letters of condolence which Mr. and Mrs. Skillicorn have received is one from Mr. F. G. Burrows on behalf of the choir of Holy Trinity Church. Two of the deceased's brothers, Corporal William. Skillicorn and Private John Skillicorn, an uncle. Private Robert Skillicorn, and a cousin, Private William Skillicorn are at the front.
The Chaplain wrote the following to the family.
"I fear there is no hope that your son can be alive. as his body was identified by some men who knew him. It seems that he was first of all wounded, but very gallantly continued encouraging his men, till at last he was compelled to go and have his wounds dressed. He left the trench to go to the dressing station and was never seen again. He was therefore first reported as 'missing.' Later, however, his body was found and brought down for burial. No doubt you will receive the official report of his death later on. I do feel for you most deeply. and I myself feel I have lost a personal friend. Your lad was one of my best confirmation candidates. His officers, too, speak so highly of him. I shall always remember him as a fine soldier and a faithful Christian. May God help you in your great sorrow and give you comfort."
His brother William Skillicorn 5th Cheshires, Reg No 1300 was awarded the Military Medal, which is now with a local collector.
Complied by Graeme Ainsworth and Percy Dunbavand