Thomas was named after his father who lived at 2 Union Road, Stockport, where he had a business as a furniture dealer. His birth was registered locally between January and March 1898.
Thomas, senior, had been born in Littlehampton, Devon. By the time he was an adult, he was living in the Stockport area and had married Emma. The 1901 Census records they were aged 46 and 42 respectively. The Census also notes Thomas, then aged 3, had been born in Heaton Norris, as had his older sister, Bertha (then 8) and brother, Samuel (16 and working in the family business).
Before he enlisted into the army, in November 1916, Thomas worked for Mr R Nield at Torkington Hall Farm (between Hazel Grove and Marple). On 5 October 1917, the 13th Cheshires were near Cambrin, a village 8 kilometres east of the French town of Bethune. Over the following days, they furnished various working parties but were not involved in combat. The Battalion's War Diary records that, on the 10th, three soldiers were killed and another two wounded. However, when regimental records were published after the War (a publication known as Soldiers Died in the Great War), only one man, Thomas, is recorded and he is noted as having died of wounds, rather than being killed outright.
The local press reporting his death stated that he had been killed in action on 10 October. He is buried very close to the front line near where the Cheshires were operating. If he had received medical attention and subsequently died (even if later in the day), it is unlikely that he would still be that near the front. This tends to support the newspaper report, rather than regimental records which are clearly flawed.