Thomas Edward Moody was born in 1890, the second of five children for Thomas and Emily.
By the start of the war, “Little Tommy Moody” was working with his father in the quarries around Shepton Mallet and was the eldest son living at home.
He joined the North Somerset Yeomanry and was shipped out to France, where he was badly injured. An article in the Shepton Mallet Journal, included after his funeral, says as much about the life of this young man as it does about the Edwardian approach to military matters.
DEATH AND FUNERAL OF A SOLDIER – The death has taken place of Thomas Edward Moody, son of Thomas Moody, of Stoney Stratton, Evercreech, at the age of 18, and who as a 1914 man, joined the North Somerset Yeomanry and went out to France. He was badly wounded, resulting in the loss of an eye, and after some time in hospital and a short leave at home, he was sent back to rejoin his regiment, the 3rd Reserve Cavalry, in France. This was about two years ago. He spent his last leave home at Christmas. After a time in hospital at Devonport, he was removed to Bath early last month, discharged from the army as incurable, and there he died on May 5th, the cause of death being consumption of the brain. The funeral, on Saturday afternoon last, was of military character. The corpse, brought from Bath the day before, was borne from the deceased’s home at Stratton on a hand bier, attended by a bearer party of eight men from Taunton Military Barracks, to the Parish Church, where the first portion of the service was taken. The Union Jack enshrouded the coffin, on and around which a number of floral tributes rested. Sixty members of the Evercreech Branch of the Comrades of the Great War, and a couple of marines, joined the funeral cortege at the home, and on leaving the Church lines up on wither side, as the body of their dead comrade was borne hence on the shoulders of four of their number to the cemetery. The vicar, Rev. RY Bonsey, officiated. The Last Post was sounded by Bugler Tucker, of Shepton Mallet, and another bugler from Tauton Barracks. “Little Tommy Moody”, as he was familiarly called amongst his chums, was a conspicuous member of the Evercreech Football Club previous to the War.Shepton Mallet Journal – 9th May 1919.
(It is interesting to know that the date of death in the article does not match that on the gravestone. I would be inclined to believe the latter.)
Private Moody was obviously a fighter and a strong character – returning to the front after losing an eye, some time in hospital and a short leave – and you can guarantee he was missed in the village.
He lies at rest in Evercreech Cemetery.