Thomas Donnison

Medals awarded

  • India General Service Medal 1936-39 with clasps: North-West Frontier 1936-37 and North-West Frontier 1937-39
  • 1939-1945 Star
  • Africa Star 1940-43
  • Italy Star 1943-45
  • Defence Medal 1939-45
  • War Medal 1939-45

Thomas Donnison was born on January 3rd 1913. He joined the Green Howards in January 1931 for a period of seven years, with an extra 5 years in the Reserve. He was recorded as being 5 feet 5 inches tall, with a fresh complexion, grey eyes and brown hair with a distinguishing scar behind his left shin.

During his first period of service, he was posted in the UK, and then for five years, between September 1933 to May 1938 in India. On leaving he was described as “A very good type. Sober, reliable, hardworking.”

He re-joined in June 1939 as the international situation deteriorated. During the Second World War  Corporal Donnison saw active service in France, Norway, North Africa, India and Italy and was attached to the Royal Electrical and Mechanical Engineers.

A photograph in the museum’s archive shows Thomas in India with the Signal Platoon, 2nd Battalion in Razmak in 1943. He is seated in the front row on the right.

Corporal Donnison left the Green Howards for the second and final time in February 1946 after a total of 14 years and 31 days’ service. Passenger archives for RMS Aquitania from 1947 show him leaving for Halifax, Canada, as a motor mechanic and returning the following year in February to live in South Shields. He died, aged 63 in May 1976.