Born in 1871, Thomas Daines was one of fourteen children. His parents, Charles and Sarah, worked on a farm a few miles from Halstead in Essex.
After leaving school, Thomas followed in his father’s footsteps and, by the time of the 1891 census was also listed as an agricultural labourer. He married Kate Rawlinson in the spring of 1893, and they had two children – Matilda and Lewis – before relocating to South East London in around 1898.
The reason for the move was, more than like, job opportunities, and Thomas was soon working at the Royal Arsenal in Woolwich.
Settling into their new city life, Thomas and Kate had five further children: Annie, Thomas, Alfred, Charles and Beatrice. Thomas continued as a labourer, before enlisting in the army within three months of war being declared in October 1914.
Sadly, Private Daines’ service was not be be a long one. Having suffered a bout of influenza, Thomas was admitted to a Red Cross Hospital in Sherborne, Dorset. He died of pneumonia on 22nd February 2015.
Private Thomas Daines lies at peace in the Sherborne Cemetery.
As a sad aside to Thomas and Kate’s story, their eldest son, Lewis, enlisted in the 16th Battalion of the Lancashire Fusiliers. He fought on the Western Front, and was killed in action in Pozières on 26th March 1918.
The Great War had claimed father and son.
For the stories of more of the fallen from the Great War, take a look at my Commonwealth War Graves page.