Friday, June 30, 2006

98514 Gunner Thomas Homewood, 41st Trench Mortar Bty RFA

In October 1914, Chailey Parish Magazine notes that Thomas Homewood is serving his King and Country. He was Thomas William W Homewood whose birth was registered at Lewes in the December quarter of 1893. He appears on the 1901 census of England and Wales living at South Street, Chailey with his family. The household comprised Thomas Homewood (head, aged 47, working as a wood turner), his wife Mary Jane Homewood (aged 45) and three children: Unice Homewood (aged 13), Thomas (aged seven) and Richard Homewood (aged four).

According to Soldiers Died in the Great War, Thomas enlisted at Lewes. In November 1915, the parish magazine notes, Homewood, Gnr T, RFA, Dardanelles but by February 1916 is announcing that he has been invalided. In April 1916 it announced that he was invalided and in England but he obviously recovered sufficiently to return overseas.

In June 1916 the parish magazine notes that he has been invalided and is in France. The second part of that statement was probably true, the first part obviously not.

98514 Gunner Thomas Homewood was killed in action on 30th June 1916 whilst serving with "Y" 41st Trench Mortar Battery, Royal Field Artillery. He is buried in Berks Cemetery Extension, Comines-Warneton, Hainaut, Belgium; grave reference: I.E.17. The Commonwealth War Graves’ Commission’s Debt of Honour Register adds the additional information that he was the son of Thomas and Mary Homewood of Chailey.

On July 14th 1916 The East Sussex News published news of his death:

Mr and Mrs T Homewood of Symonds Farm, Chailey have received information that their eldest son, Private T Homewood of the RFA has been killed in France. Before joining the army he was employed at the Farmers’ Co-operative Association offices at Lewes and was a member of the Lewes Athletic Football Club.

The following month, Reverend Jellicoe added his name to the Parish Roll of Honour, incorrectly noting however that he had been killed on the 30th July rather than June.

Medal index card courtesy of Ancestry.

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