Tuesday, September 13, 2011
A tale of two namesakes - Thomas Avery
I am grateful to Lesley Fisher for contacting me and correcting the biography I had written for Thomas Avery. It appears that I have mixed up two men of the same name and I will now attempt to unravel them.
1. Thomas Avery was born in Chailey around 1879. When the 1901 census was taken, the family was living at 13 South Street, Chailey. The family comprised Thomas Avery (head of the household, aged 48), his wife Caroline (42) and their seven children: Thomas (21), Edith (18), Rose (16), Frederick (13), Harriett (9), Arthur (6) and Harry (2). Thomas senior worked as a carter on a farm. His son Thomas was a brick-maker (presumably working at Norman’s, locally) and Edith worked as a general domestic servant. The family also had a boarder, 22 year old Frank Funnell who worked as a labourer in at the local brickyard.
Tom Avery appears in Chailey Parish Magazine for the first time in November 1916, noted as a Private, serving with the Army Veterinary Corps in France. He survived the war and appears to have served until the end, finally appearing in the parish magazine in July 1919. He was given the army number SE/21101.
2. Another Thomas Avery, born in 1889, was the youngest of seven children of John Avery and Mary-Ann Bridon. The family can be found on the 1891 census living at Wapsbourne Cottage in the Chailey Parish. Mary-Ann then went on to marry Charles Knight. They appear on the 1901 census living at Oaklands Cottage Chailey with another brother for Thomas and also Mary-Ann's father. They moved to Rock Cottage, Scaynes Hill by the time the 1911 census was completed and Thomas, now 22 years of age is noted as a farm labourer.
Thomas died in 1949 from oral cancer and at the time of his death he was employed as a carter. He was living at Oakwood Cottages in Streat and was never in the army although it was this Thomas Avery who married the widow of the late Harry Gates and subsequently lived at Flint Cottage (pictured above, courtesy of the Geocaching website) on Chailey Common.