Thomas, Robert

I believe that Robert was the son of George & Isabella (Bella) Thomas (nee Greenwood) who married in St. Mary’s Church, Chester on the 8th July 1877.   Robert Thomas was born circa 1893.

They settled straight away in Saltney ending up living at 1, Victoria Road on the 1911 census when Robert first appears on any census with the family, but he is 20 years old and I cannot find him on earlier censuses.  He should possibly have appeared on the 1901 census with the rest of his siblings, but on that census, apart from a visitor, James PRICE, no family were recorded by the Enumerator, except for George & Bella, yet it wasn’t till 1911 that they were all together again.

In 1911, George Thomas, 62, a General Labourer, born in Dodleston, Cheshire, tells us that he and Bella, 52 had been married 30 years and that 9 children had been born but sadly 3 had died.   Bella herself had been born on different censuses, at Gresford or Burton, Denbighshire.

Son Thomas, 28, single and a Waggoner on Farm, and all the rest of the family had been born in Saltney, Cheshire. Sons Joseph, 27, Samuel, 23, Robert, 20 William, 17 were all General Labourers and the only daughter May, 15 was a Domestic Servant at Home.   George’s brother Thomas, 52, a widower, and also a General Labourer, had been born like George at Dodleston, Cheshire.

Where is the rest of the family on the 1901 census, I have been through all of Saltney pages (1 -43) (District 12) (Victoria Road area) and there is only 1 other THOMAS family – Ellis THOMAS and his wife and baby.    The family of those who are not married, are together on the 1891 and the 1911, so where were they or were they deliberately left off????   OR were they just away from the household on the Census night, but if so it was like a mass migration!

I also believe that Robert married Sarah Ellen NEWMAN before or around the time he enlisted in the war as there is a Civil Marriage or Registrar Attended marriage in 1914 in Chester (Cheshire West ROC/60/65), but on the Army Registers of Soldiers’ Effects, 1901-1929, which tells us that Robert died in the War Hospital in Chester on the 19th February 1919 gives his sole Legatee was his widow Sarah who received £5 16s 11d on the 17th June 1919 and £11 13s 10d on the 13th September 1919, this included his War Gratuity of £11.

The Commonwealth War Graves Commission Certificate additional information: – Son of George and Isabella Thomas, of 1, Victoria Rd., Saltney; husband of S. H. Thomas, of 9, Ingham St., Chester.   This poses a query as Sarah’s initials are given as S.H. and she is shown on her marriage as Sarah Ellen, but that could be a clerical error or indeed, sometimes names change from Ellen to Helen.  Any information great appreciated.

Try as I might I cannot find much information on Robert’s Service Records, it seems that Ancestry was having problems, as some Army records came up, but others didn’t and even taking into account the fact that thousands of Service Records were destroyed in WW2 with the bombings, some records should show up on Ancestry as they show up on other sites, so I can only look again another day.   However 2 did show, such as Robert Thomas in the British Army WWI Medal Rolls Index Cards, 1914-1920, but this did not tell us where Robert’s Theatre of War was nor when he entered it, but did give his Medals that he was awarded.   The other was “Robert Thomas in the UK, Army Registers of Soldiers’ Effects, 1901-1929,” which, as I said above, told us he was in a War Hospital in Chester when he died, meaning that he had been wounded or gassed, he could, of course, died of the influenza that had killed so many in Flintshire and indeed the world in 1918, and he died early 1919.   His death Certificate would have to be purchased to tell us that. (Cheshire West CHR/1/78)

Many thanks to the “Find a Grave Website” – .

Saltney -Robert THOMAS - Overleigh Cemetery Chester 2

He was buried on the 24th February 1919.

90740 Private
Machine Gun Corps (Inf.)
19th February 1919 Age 26
Gone But Not Forgotten
From His Loving Wife
And Child


Any help to tell Robert’s story would be gratefully received.






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