Buss, Thomas Weston, DoD: 09/04/1917. Age: 26. Son of Mr and Mrs Edwin Buss of Victoria, B.C. Canada. Occ: Lumber Millman. Unit text: 5th & 6th Battalion, The Buffs, (East Kent Regt.), Cemetery: ARRAS MEMORIAL.
Thomas was born into a farming family living at Elphicks Farm in Horsmonden, Kent, the farm was taken over by his Gt Grandfather Thomas Buss snr. around 1845 and the farm remained in the family for over 130 years. He attended Tonbridge School for Boys from September 1904 to December 1906
In 1907 he and his parents Edwin and Ann (Weston) Buss emigrated to Canada in with all the siblings except for elder brother Benjamin who stayed on at the farm with his uncle also a Benjamin.
Thomas was employed in Canada as a Lumber Millman but in 1911 he decided to become a professional soldier and joined the 5th Canadian Garrison Artillery. He enlisted in 1914 joining the Canadian Expeditionary Force in Valcartier, Quebec.
When war was declared 4th August 1914, Canada was officially at war and London asked for 25, 000 troops. Thomas was one of the thousands who had volunteered to be part of the Canadian Expeditionary Force. After a short spell of training at Valcartier, in October Thomas along with thousands of other young men arrived at Salisbury Plain in Wiltshire for a further 4 month’s training.
From Salisbury Plain the 1st Brigade Field Artillery embarked for France and Flanders where his company endured some of the heaviest fighting around Ypres.
Thomas was promoted several times and was nominated for a commission and held the rank of Second Lieutenant and was transferred to the 5th Battalion, East Kent Regiment later being attached to 6th Battalion.
On the first day of the great Arras offensive on Easter Monday 9th April 1917, sadly he was killed.
Thomas’s brother Benjamin, also died in the Great War and is commemorated on the Horsmonden War Memorial.
It is believed there will be nephews and nieces living in Vancouver B. C. today in the names of; Buss, Wood, Paterson. Spurgin, Milligan, and Leake-Gale. Research continues in the hope that we can make contact with them to inform the descendants of Benjamin about our findings and to see if we can learn more about Captain Benjamin Buss of Horsmonden.