The family history of Thomas John Tuck is the same as for his brother Francis Douglas , so please click on the link to Douglas’s page to read this.
UK, Soldiers Died in the Great War, 1914-1919 accessible on www.ancestry.co.uk confirms Thomas’s regimental information and tells us that he enlisted in Hawarden and was buried at sea. His medal Card, also on ‘Ancestry’ details his medals and tells us that his first Theatre of War was the Balkans and he entered it on the 8th August 1915. 14 days later, on the 22nd August 1915 he died.
There is an index card for Thomas J Tuck in The Flintshire Roll of Honour at The County Record Office in Hawarden. (Card Harwarden F34). The address given is Main Street, Hawarden, and his regimental details are confirmed. He served for 1 year & 18 days and died August 22nd 1915 and was buried at sea. He served in Gallipoli. The Card was not signed or dated but was in the same handwriting as Thomas’s brother, Francis Douglas’s card. I believe it was written on the same day by their Father John.
Both Tuck boys are commemorated on a family grave in the churchyard of St Deniol’s in Hawarden and is also recorded on the Imperial War Museum – Memorial Project Website – Description – Churchyard. Old part (1860) – http://www.iwm.org.uk/memorials/item/memorial/60317
In Loving Memory of our dear sons who fought at Gallipoli
Pte. J.T. Tuck R.W.F. died August 22nd 1915 age 24 buried at sea.
Pte. F.D. Tuck R.W.F. Died October 5 1915 age 20 buried in Egypt,
“We are resting”
Also infant son C.E. Tuck aged 1 month.
Also Susan Tuck Mother of the above who died July 31st 1924 aged 56 years.
Also John Tuck died January 1945 aged 82 years. “At Rest”.
Monumental Inscriptions T 7 Churchyard extension.
(John Henry & Susan Wyatt Tuck, had suffered the loss of another son, Charles E. in 1893 age 1 month).
Thomas was also mentioned in a letter sent to the Flintshire Observer 4th November 1915 (Page 7, Co. 1/4):-
GALLANT STRETCHER BEARERS
CARRIED WOUNDED ALL DAY UNDER GALLING FIRE.
Interesting Letter from Ewloe Sergeant
Among the letters received by Mr. J.H. ADKINS, headmaster of the Drew Memorial School, Hawarden, from old boys – more than 80 of whom are serving their country – is one from Sergt. R. Evans of Ewloe, which is of special interest to Hawarden people, as it gives an account of the fine work of his platoon composed mostly of Hawarden young men.
He writes: “ I have just got over dysentery and am expecting to got back to the firing-line any time. Our stretcher bearers – the band boys- T. Tuck, E. Wilcoxon, Harry Williams, Griff. Jenkins and T.Griffiths deserve to class as the bravest for the work they did in carrying the wounded under the most galling fire.
They carried them from daylight until dark at night, and had both rifle fire and shellfire to face. They not only carried our wounded but from every regiment, and I heard everybody passing remarks about what a brave lot they were. They took them right from the firing line over the open ground for a mile and then came back to and fro all day.
One of them carried two officers on his back out of the firing line, as there was no stretchers there at the time. He took one down out of range and came back for the other. I thought you would like to know something about your Hawarden scholars which is true and worth knowing. Everybody admired our stretcher bearers. They were the constant talk on the beach among the R.A.M.C.
I am sorry to say three of them are dead now. I saw two – Harry Williams and Jenkins, Poor Tom Tuck died in hospital. Harry Williams was bending to pick up a wounded man when he got it in the head. Both belonged to my platoon. I wish to send my deepest sympathy to his mother and all the family, and also to Tom Tuck’s parents. Douglas Tuck was going on all right when I left him. He has since died.
I don’t know how it must feel to have a brother out here. I am afraid I should trouble more about him than myself. It must be very hard for anyone. All I have told you about the streatcher bearers is what every officer and man will say. The busiest day we had on the Peninuslar was August 10th, that’s when we lost the Colonel and the biggest part of our chaps. It won’t be a very happy return to Hawarden for whoever the lucky ones are, but there’s one thing that consoles us – we are fighting the winning fight.”
Hawarden Parish Magazine – September 1915 – Tuck – Extract from Rector’s Letter
“Our united sympathies go out to Mr & Mrs TUCK in the loss of their son, for whom we shall repeat the beautiful service which we had at 8.30 on the morning of the Squire’s funeral. The date and the hour of this will be made known as soon as they are fixed.”
The following newspaper cutting was given to me at an event about WW1 that took place at Mold Library. It was from the Edmonton Journal (Canada). The article is from a story told by Bill Smith to the editor of the paper Stephen Hume in 1986. He talks of his reasons for leaving Hawarden after the hell of the Dardanelles. Harry Williams* features in these extracts as do the Tuck brothers who are also named on Hawarden’s memorial and have their own pages on this website.
* Harry has a page on this website.
“You’d see Mrs Williams coming down the street and she would want to know if I was there when Harry got killed,” Bill said . It was only about 4 or 5 of us came back to my little town after the war I got some literature about Canada, the Last Great West and there was a mention of Peace River, I got the impression it was a new country, named after Peace and I went to Chester, and I got my ticket to the Peace. And I found peace. I was confirmed there in the old log church”. Bill Smith went on to say in other parts of the article that “The Royal Welsh Fusiliers landed on that Beach (Sulva Bay) 1000 strong on August 10th,” Bill remembers, “When they took us off in November there were 145.”
“And the Tuck Brothers, they joined the band, but of course there was no place for musicians as the casualties began to mount so they went into the front lines as stretcher bearers and were slain”
Many thanks to the kind lady who gave me this article and apologies for not taking her name, please get in touch if you can help me identify her for me to thank properly.
COUNTY HERALD 30th July 1922 (Page 8, transcribed from newspaper, no cutting)
Arrangements have been made for the unveiling at the Head Quarters at Rhyl of a massive granite and bronze memorial tablet, bearing about 250 names, in memory of the members of the Flintshire Territorials who fell in the great war.
It has been subscribed for by the officers and men of the battalion and will be unveiled on Thursday July 13th – the anniversary of sailing of the battalion for Gallipoli, where it fought so heroically, – by Mrs. Philips, of Rhual, Mold, widow of the commanding officer, who fell in Gallipoli, and Mrs. Tuck, of Hawarden, who lost two sons in the war.
Both Tom and Douglas must have been in the Territorials to be involved so early in the war. A post card posted by Tom from Aberystwyth on the 3rd August, 1914, where Tom was with the 5th R.W.F. confirms that he was with the R.W.F. (Territorials) when the camps were “struck” by special Government Orders on the early morning of the 3rd August and they returned home travelling throughout the night reaching Flint soon after six o’clock to return home and await further Orders which might be received. I have no proof that Douglas was with him, but as he was also in the 5th R.W.F., the chances of them being together is very great. (The story of the striking of the camp etc., was printed in the County Herald on the 7th August 1914.)
A Postcard (see below) from William Harding to Mrs. Tuck shows how close the boys from Hawarden were.
“3292 G. Company, L’pool Scottish, King’s Park, Edinburgh.
Have been up here under canvas for about a fortnight now. The weather has been bitterly cold lately with heavy showers of rain. I hope Tom & Douglas are all right. We are having a stiff time of it. Am waiting for vaccination and inoculation against Typhoid. All of us for foreign service have to go through this. Kindest regards to all. Will Harding.”
A Postcard (see below) from possibly Harry Williams, a Stretcher Bearer like Tom and Douglas, to Tom. Both these boys are on the website, please click on the links to read their stories.
“Dear Tom, Just a few lines in answer to your P.C. glad you landed safe. I am in the pink and is expecting to come on Thursday. Mr & Mrs Reynolds wishes to be remembered to you. Ashcroft as (sic) not come back yet he as (sic) got another 5 days extension. We are having another big march tomorrow so I know you will be sorry to miss it. I am just going to have tea. Remember me to Tom Taylor. I am going with Geoff tonight no more this time. I remain your true? pal Harry.”
Many thanks to Wendy & Gary Williams for their help and generosity giving information, post cards, photo’s etc., helping tell the story of the Tuck brothers, so much part of the Hawarden story.
Taken from Hawarden Parish Magazine
Chester Chronicle 20th January 1945
The late Mr. J. Tuck – The funeral took place on Wednesday week of Mr. John Tuck (82), retired shoemaker, 1 Aston Mead, Aston,, who died in the Old Rectory Hospital. Mr. Tuck came to Hawarden Orphanage about 75 years ago with his brother William. On leaving school he became an apprentice shoemaker with Mr. Wm. Roberts, who had his shop down the entry – still in existence – between The Glynne Arms and the Midland Bank. He later opened his own shoemaking business in the village. He had been a widower for 20 years. His two sons, Douglas and Tom, were killed in the 1914-18 war. Mr. Tuck was the godson of the late Viscount Gladstone, the late Lord Gladstone of Hawarden, and Mrs. Potter. He was a Churchman, member of the choir, of the Hawarden Volunteer’s Band and interested in all forms of music and the garden, his pride. The Rector officiated at the funeral service assisted by the Rev. Tecwyn Jones. The choir were in attendance, and the organist was Miss Marian Williams. The family mourners were Miss A. Tuck, Mrs. W. Tuck, Cissie, Ethleen, and Davida (nieces), and Mr. and Mrs Massey. The bearers were Messrs. F. Buckley, A. Catherall, E. Cannon, and R.P. Phillips. Messrs. G. Bailey and Sons were the undertakers.