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Goswell, Thomas Ernest

Thomas Ernest Goswell was born about 1892. His parents were George and Hester Goswell.  George Goswell had  spent his working life as a horsebreaker/horse trainer.

The census of 1891 records the family living at Tallant in Bangor on Dee (Bangor Ysycoed) in Flintshire.  Bangor on Dee famously has a horse racing track. George Goswell aged 5o was listed as a Horsebreaker who had been born in Ireland. His wife Hester was 38 and had been born in Shropshire. Their listed children were George who was 14 and was a Saddler’s Apprentice. Anne was 10, Hester 7, John 4, Milly 3 and Lucy 2.  Tommy was not yet born.

George the son became a successful  Racehorse Trainer  and had a hand in training a horse ‘Poethlyn’ which  eventually went on to win the 1918 Grand National. He trained many of the horses that his younger brother rode as a jockey.

The 1911 census Thomas Goswell was living with his family at Sarn, Malpas. The head of the household was widowed mother Hester Goswell,  58. Lucy Goswell her 22 year old daughter was a barmaid. Thomas Goswell, was 18 and a ‘Professional Jockey’. He had been born in Bangor Is Y Coed – the Welsh name for the village of Bangor on Dee. Two grandaughters were recorded on the census, Edith 9 and Nora 4.

Tommy had  begun riding over jumps in 1910 and quickly began making a name for himself. In 1911 he rode 16 winners and for the next three seasons he was in the top 10 of jumps jockeys.

In 1914 he enlisted. UK Soldiers who Died in The Great war 1914 -19 accessible on www.ancestry.co.uk confirms the regimental details above and adds that he enlisted in Overton. This source tells us he was ‘Killed in Action’. It also tells us he was formerly in The Welsh Cavalry with the regimental number of 710. He fought and died at Ypres in the battle of Passchendaele.

His medal card tells about his two medals but also informs us us that Thomas was transferred from one regiment to another and given different numbers each time. He was 23782 in the East Surrey Regiment and 17222 in the Lancers. Eventually as we know, he ended up in the Royal Warwickshire Regiment number 32538.

There is a card for Thomas in The Flintshire Roll of Honour at the County Record Office in Hawarden. This too chronicles all his transfers. It adds another one – The Middlesex Regiment. It says he went to France in November 1916.

Thomas left a will. There is an entry in the England and Wales National Probate Calendar for “Thomas Ernest Goswell of Althrey Lodge Bangor on Dee Flintshire, a Private in the 14th Royal Warwickshire Regiment died on or since 26th October 1917 in France on active military service. Probate St Asaph 25th November to George Goswell Farmer. Effects £275”

The register of soldier’s effects in which the army calculated what moneys were owed to deceased soldiers includes an entry for Tommy Goswell. It tells us that £15 ..16sh  ..4d was paid in two separate payments to Tommy’s brother George.


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