Thomas John was the son of Thomas and Ada Lovelock of Northop.
In 1901 the family lived at 4 Dublin Row, Northop Hall. The father, Thomas was a collier who originally came from Dorset. He was 29, his wife was 25 and at that time they had four children Elizabeth (9yrs), Thomas John (6 yrs), Herbert Henry (4 yrs) and Baden Powell (9 mnths). Many more children came later. Unbelievably we have been told that there were 23 in total! (This included some sets of twins).
The 1911 census places Thomas and his family in Church street, Northop. The form tells us that in the house lived the father Thomas a 38 year old colliery labourer. His wife Ada was 35yrs. The listed children were Lizzie 18 a farmhouse servant, Thomas 16 who was out of work, Albert 14 worked at the colliery, Harry 12, Baden 10, Maggie 8, Ethel 5, Rose 5 and Harold 2. The form tells us that two children (Ernest and Arthur) had died.
At the time of the Great War the family lived ‘near the Church’ in Northop. Thomas signed up for the army and signed his Attestation papers on 1st September 1914 at Wrexham. He stated that his trade was a labourer. He named his father as his next of kin. He served in total 3 years 282 days in the army serving at Home, in Gallipoli, Mesopotamia (Iraq) and in France.
(He had been a bit of a colourful character and he had a one or two recorded disciplinary incidents eg he was ‘Absent off parade at 7.00pm and found drunk at 8.30pm’. He failed to comply with an order and was given two extra duties as punishment and on another occasion he was about 8 hours late returning from leave and so was confined to barracks for 5 days).
He had a long period (126 days) in hospital during 1916 -17. He had a long period in Addington Park War Hospital. He Suffered from bronchitis and other problems. The medical records are very sketchy but tests for typhoid and dysentry proved negative. He was invalided at one time for ‘Enteric’ which is an inflammation of the intestines. Between August 1917 and April 1918 he was based on Home duties and during this period he got married. He married Charlotte Roberts in Wrexham on 9th February 1918. Two months later he was back in France and four months later, she was a widow.
Charlotte received a telegram in June 1918 (Probably the 13th but it is not clear). It was from the army in Shrewsbury. It is addressed to her at 5, Barrack Lane, Hightown, Wrexham and says
‘Deeply regret to inform you your husband T J Lovelock died of wounds 9.6.18 at the casualty clearing station. I wish to express the sympathy of the (army fusiliers) ? in your sad bereavement. ‘
A letter from the War Office to the Army records service in Shrewsbury stated that any personal effects and medals pertaining to Pte Lovelock should be depatched to his wife who was living at Fair Bank, 53 Kingsland Terrace, Treforest, Pontypridd.
On the 15th September 1918 Charlotte signed for and took receipt of his personal effects. These consisted of
1 Identity Disc, Letters, Photos, 1 cigarette case, 2 cap badges, 1 wrist watch (damaged), 1 chain, 1 A.B.S.O. cards, 1 receipt, 1 halfpenny.
Northop Parish Magazine
“Roll of Honour…
We are informed that Thomas John Lovelock son of Mr and Mrs Lovelock, Northop has been killed in action and made the great sacrifice while serving on the Western Front. Our deepest sympathy is extended to his wife and relatives in their sudden bereavement.”
Charlotte eventually remarried and became Charlotte Meade