|The late Sergeant-Major George Thornley of the Royal Artillery. This image when closely examined is shown to be a copy
of an earlier photograph with a small portion of the original photographer's name just visible at the very lower right edge of
the image. This image was found in association with a morning card (below) for Sergeant-Major Thornley and gives his
death date as 15 May 1901 at Sunderland.
George Thornley was born at Ashton-Under-Lyne about 1852 and attested as a gunner with the Royal Artillery at Preston
on 1 June 1875. He was described as being 5 feet, 7 inches tall with hazel eyes and light brown hair. His distinguishing
feature being a chipped front tooth.
Appointed acting bombardier with 12 Battery, 9 Brigade on 1 April 1879 and was promoted to Bombardier on 21 August
1880. Thornley was brought before a court martial and reduced to Gunner for unspecified reasons on 12 December 1881.
He continued as gunner with 6 Battery, 1 Brigade, Western Division being appointed acting bombardier on 20 April 1885 he
reverted to Gunner on 2 February 1886. Reappointed acting bombardier on 3 May 1887. Promoted again to bombardier on 1
December 1888, corporal on 1 August 1890, Sergeant on 22 September 1892. Thornley transferred to the Permanent Staff,
Durham Artillery (Militia) on 1st October 1893 and promoted to company sergeant major on 29 April 1897. He was
discharged after 25 years, 274 days of service on 1 March 1901.
Thornley's posting included:
Home: 2 June 1875 - 10 December 1879
India: 11 December 1879 - 30 October 1884
Aden: 31 October 1884 - 16 December 1885
Home: 17 December 1885 - 16 February 1892
St Lucia: 17 February 1892 - 11 April 1893
Home: 12 April 1893 - 1 March 1901
Thornley served with 12 Battery, 9 Brigade during the 2nd Anglo-Afghan War of 1877-80 and received the Afghan War
Campaign Medal (no clasps) for his service. He was also presented with the Long Service & Good Conduct Medal.
At the time of his death barely 2 1/2 months after retirement Thornley was listed as a boarder and "living on own means"
on Henry Street in Sunderland. He never seems to have married - no other family members were listed in the 1901 Census.
J. H. Pratt - Photographer/Copiest
Market Street, Ashton-U-Lyne, England