Thomas William Ames, Battalion Border Regiment, British Army

Biography contributed by Gay O’Reilly

My Grandfather, Thomas William Ames, was a British soldier who fought in France in WW1 and was captured and imprisoned in Cassels Germany. While there he contracted pulmonary tuberculosis.

He was subsequently transferred to the Beau Site Sanatorium in Leysin.  I believe his Swiss doctors treated him by pulmonary plombage which worked by collapsing the apex of his affected lung, an area which the tuberculous bacillus attacks. This treatment effectively killed the tuberculous bacillus and saved his life.

My Grandmother, Maud Ames, ne Pearson, visited him in Leysin by the courtesy of the Red Cross.  For a lady who had never left London, it was the trip of a lifetime.  Over the years, my Grandparents spoke often of the kindness and generosity of the Swiss people in accepting and caring for him.  They often reminisced about the extraordinary beauty of the Swiss landscape and wished to return. Unfortunately because of limited finances and ill health that was never to be. 

My Grandfather who was an avid reader said that his most treasured possession was an Edelweiss bookmark, which I now cherish.


  • Born 02/08/1885. London England, 
  • Died 07/05/1973. Chelsea Royal Hospital for retired servicemen London. England.

War service record.

  •  Enlistment 29/02/1904 Militia. Royal Fusilier.
  • 29/02/1904-11/10/05. Home
  • 12/10/05-15/01/07.South Africa.
  • 16/01/07-04/10/14. Home.
  • 05/08/14 Enlisted 2nd Battalion Border Regiment, Service #7375.
  • 05/10/14-25/10/14. France
  • 26/10/14-13/01/15. MIA presumed dead.
  • 16/01/15 letter received by wife from POW camp Cassels, Germany.
  • Interned at the Beau Site sanatorium Leysin, after contracting TB at German POW camp (Cassels) now Kassals.
  • 24/03/18 Returned Home
  • 27/03/18 Discharged from Army.


[foogallery id=”693″]