Rank: Private 9729
Regiment: 1st Bn., Devonshire Regiment
Died: died 7 July 1916
Age: 21, according to official records
Colaton Raleigh, Newton Poppleford
Colaton Raleigh Memorial Plaque, Newton Poppleford War Memorial
Other Memorial: St Sever Cemetery, Rouen [Google]
PDF Download: PARSONS Thomas
Young Thomas may have lied about his age when he joined up in 1915 as census records show he was born in 1897, which means he was 17 when war broke out.
His father, also called Thomas, was a “jobbing pit sawyer” according to those same records. Thomas and his wife Eliza lived in Colaton Raleigh. He is noted as ‘usually in the pit’ which meant he was the ‘bottom dog’. The man working above him at the top of the saw-pit was, of course, the top dog.
Thomas’s mother, Eliza, is not seen in the 1911 records, so she may have died before then.
An agricultural labourer born in Newton Poppleford, Thomas joined the 1st Battalion of the Devonshire Regiment and was killed in action on 7 July 1916.
He is remembered on the Newton Poppleford and Colaton Raleigh war memorials, and also at the St Sever Cemetery in Rouen, France, where he is buried.
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