Thomas was born in the Stockport area and is understood to have been married at the time he was killed. However, there is no mention of his wife on the 1901 Census. At that time, he was living at the home of his parents, Thomas and Bridget, at 13 Banbury Street. Four of his sons, Arthur, Frederick, Thomas and Charles were also living there. Another son was living with his other grandparents, Albert and Martha Ogden, at 21 Carrington Field.
At the time of the census, Thomas’ occupation is recorded as being a hatter. Reporting his death, the local newspaper suggested that he had been a member of the Stockport Police Force but, bearing in mind his relatively unskilled previous occupation, this seems unlikely.
His eldest son joined the Army in 1912 and took part in the British Army’s first engagement of the War at Mons. Arthur was killed two weeks later on 9 September.
Thomas enlisted in October 1915 and probably lied about his age as he would, otherwise, have been too old for active service. He went overseas on 21 January 1916 by which time three more of his sons had also joined up. One would later be wounded in eight places (probably by shrapnel) and would spend time in a military hospital in Brighton.
The Commonwealth War Graves Commission records his Artillery unit as “Details” – probably an abbreviation of “Base Details” indicating he was attached to a base headquarters or other wise not assigned to a fighting unit. Thomas died of natural causes.