Thomas Christopher was not listed on the Gwernaffield Memorial but there is an index card for him in The Flintshire Roll of Honour at The County Record Office in Hawarden. The card is filed with the ‘Gwernaffield Fallen’. The address given on the card is Gwynfa, Cat Hole (Cadole), Gwernymynydd. It is this card that provided us with the regimental details above. By using the information on the Flintshire card we used other sources to learn more about him.
Thomas Christopher was born about 1885. His place of birth was Raby Mere in Cheshire according to most sources. He was recorded living with his family in the census of 1891 living at Woodbank Hall (Wirral) Cheshire. Head of the household was Edward, a 32 year old Gamekeeper. His wife was Alice aged 30. Their listed children were Thomas 7, Alice 4, Charles 2, and Joshua 4 months.
Ten years later, in 1901 the census placed the family at Halewood Farm Ledsham (Still on he Wirral Peninsula). Edward was 42 and still a Gamekeeper. Alice was 40 and their listed children were Thomas 17 – a Carter on a farm, Alice 14 was a General Servant, Charles was 12, John 10, Margaret 9, Richard 6, Jane 3 and Edward 2.
The census of 1911 records Thomas Christopher at 1 Caldy Road, Liscard Cheshire. Thomas Christopher aged 27 was a boarder in the home of Joseph Eziekal Mullineaux, a Stonemason and his wife Alice. Thomas’s occupation was Postman.
Thomas Christopher married Mary Medcalfe in 1911 in the quarter ending June. (Wirral Vol 8a, page 959). They had two children Gerald was born in 1912, and Alice Eileen was born in 1914 (She eventually married a Fred Smethhurst). We know that after Thomas’s death Mary remarried and her name became Mary Johnston. (See Commonwealth War Grave Certificate below).
UK Soldiers who Died in The Great War 1914 -1919 accessible on www.ancestry.co.uk confirms the regimental details above. It tells us that he enlisted in Birkenhead and that he was killed in action on the 8th May 1915 in France/Flanders. His medal index card, also on ‘Ancestry’ details his medals and adds that his first Theatre of War was France and he entered it on 3rd January 1915. Written on the card are the words ‘Presumed killed in action 8th May 1915’
It has not proved possible yet to locate his Army Service or Pension Records but there are surviving records for Thomas’s brothers Edward and Charles. Edward jnr’s records name his father, Edward as his next of kin and his address was given as ‘The Kennels’, Wervin Chester. This has, however been crossed out and written besides it is, New address 2/4/17 Gwynfa, Gwernaffield, Mold. This is the only connection we have found to Gwernaffield apart from the index card in the Record office.