Thomas was one of the first 'Marston Lads' to enlist for the army and he attested on the 12th August 1914 at Chester for The Cheshire Regiment. He would go on to serve 3 years and 225 days in the First World War.
Within weeks, James was in France and on the 17th November 1914 was shot and wounded in the left thigh. This left him with a permanent limp, but he went back into service after treatment back in England at Chester. In April 1915, he was back in France.
Thomas Bramall had served in the war through four Christmas's. When 1918 arrived and having served over 3.5 years, and with the talk that the war would soon be over, he must have been looking forward to going back home and getting back to normality.
The 1918 Spring Offensive, or Kaiserschlacht ("Kaiser's Battle"), also known as the Ludendorff Offensive, was a series of German attacks along the Western Front during the First World War, beginning on 21 March 1918. The Germans had realised that their only remaining chance of victory was to defeat the Allies before the United States could fully deploy its resources. The German Army had gained a temporary advantage in numbers as nearly 50 divisions had been freed by the Russian withdrawal from the war with the Treaty of Brest-Litovsk.
Once they began advancing, the Germans struggled to maintain the momentum, partly due to logistical issues. The fast-moving stormtrooper units could not carry enough food and ammunition to sustain themselves for long, and the army could not move in supplies and reinforcements fast enough to assist them. The Allies concentrated their main forces in the essential areas (the approaches to the Channel Ports and the rail junction of Amiens). Strategically worthless ground, which had been devastated by years of conflict, was left lightly defended. Within a few weeks, the danger of a German breakthrough had passed, though related fighting continued though July.