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Person Details
Thomas was the son of Thomas French and his wife Elizabeth nee Barnett. Thomas snr. was born in Nottingham in 1859 (A/M/J Nottingham, Goldingay) and Elizabeth was also born in Nottingham. They were married on 10 June 1878 (A/M/J Nottingham) at St Mark's church, Nottingham, and had six children; five children were named on census returns and one has been identified from the record of registration of births: Annie b. 3 December 1878 (1879 (J/F/M Nottingham) bap. 12 February 1879 St Mark Nottingham, Thomas b. 1880 (O/N/D Nottingham), Joseph b. 1882 (J/A/S Nottingham) bap. 1 October 1882 St Mary Nottingham d. 1882 (O/N/D Nottingham), William b. 27 August 1883 (J/A/S Nottingham), Edward b. 1885 (J/A/S Sheffield) bap 30 September 1885 St Anthony Lenton and Clara birth registered 1887 (J/F/M Nottingham) bap. 22 June 1887 St Catherine Nottingham. Edward was born in Sheffield but all the other children were born in Nottingham. Thomas and Elizabeth were living at 3 Salisbury Court, Nottingham, when Annie was baptised in February 1879 but had moved to 6 Portland Place, Nottingham, by 1881 where they were lodging in the home of Francis Scrimshaw, a tailor, and his family. Thomas (21), was a french polisher, and he and Annie (20) had two children, Annie (2) and Thomas (6 months). Note: Francis Scrimshaw's son, Albert, was killed in 1915 (A/Sgt, Sherwood Foresters). The family was living at 7 Malin Hill, Nottingham, when the third child, Joseph, was baptised in October 1882, in Lenton when Edward was baptised in 1885 and at 4 North Yard, Nottingham, when Clara was baptised in June 1887. In 1891 Elizabeth, who was still married but now head of household, was living at Parrotts Place, Corn Street, Nottingham. Elizabeth was working as a lace mender. In the home on the night of the census were her five surviving children: Annie (12), Thomas (10), William (7), Edward (5) and Clara (4). By 1901 Elizabeth (40) and two of her children, Edward (15) and Clara (14), were boarders at 35 Camden Street, Nottingham, the home of James Berry (42) single, a bricklayer's labourer. Both Elizabeth and Clara were employed as lace hand clippers and scallopers. Thomas and William have not yet been traced on the 1901 Census, but Annie had married Job Samples in 1896 (O/N/D Nottingham) and was living on Hermit Street, Nottingham. Annie's son Job (b. 1899) died in the war (see 'extra information') and their family history is recorded on this ROH. An Army Service Record (Short Service Attestation, 3 years with the Colours, 9 years Reserve) survives for Edward who attested on 11 November 1902 at the age of 18 years and 4 months. He was already serving in the Militia (Sherwood Foresters) and he enlisted in the Sherwood Foresters (Notts & Derby Regiment) 45th & 95th Foot, although he transferred to the Royal Field Artillery on 1 May 1903. However, on 13 March 1904 he was held awaiting trial (the offence appeared to be stealing) and was tried and imprisoned on 22 March. He was discharged from the Army on 11 April 1904 - 'incorrigible (illegible)'. He had nominated his mother Elizabeth French of 3 Stanley Terrace, Lower Eldon Street, Sneinton, Nottingham, as his next of kin and also named his siblings Thomas and Annie Samples. Edward may have died in 1907 (J/A/S Huddersfield, Yorkshire). William married Eliza E Bodell (b. 20 April 1889) in 1910 (J/A/S Nottingham). In 1939 they were living at 66 Kentwood Road, Sneinton; William was a painter and decorator. He probably died in 1961 (J/F/M Nottingham) age 77. In 1911 Elizabeth was still a boarder in the home of James Berry (51) but they were now living at 34 Albion Street, Sneinton, Nottingham. Also in the household was Thomas French (3, birth registered 1908 J/F/M Nottingham, Ainsworth). James Berry died aged 54 in 1913 (J/A/S Nottingham). Elizabeth may have been living at 12 Deabill Street, Carlton, at the time of the England & Wales Register in 1939, and probably died in 1951 (J/F/M Basford) at the age of 88. Her husband Thomas has not been traced after the 1881 Census.
16 Nov 1916
2886814 - CWGC Website
Merchant Navy
Mercantile Marine. SS Vasco (Hull), requisitioned trawler. Vasco was sunk while on passage from Hull to Naples. She hit a mine and sank when 10 miles W x S from Beachy Head with the loss of 17 of her crew. Thomas' body was not recovered for burial and he is commemorated on the Tower Hill Memorial, London.
CWGC - born Nottingham. The St Mary's memorial and ROH incorrectly record the ship as 'HMS Vasco' 'In memoriam' notice published on 17th November 1919 in the Nottingham Evening Post :- “FRENCH. – In loving memory of my dear son, Thomas French, killed at sea November 16th, 1916; also my dear grandson, Job Samples, killed in action June 16th, 1916. Ever in our thoughts. – Mother [Elizabeth French] and sister Clara.” Above is courtesy of Jim Grundy and his facebook pages Small Town Great War Hucknall 1914-1918 Thomas' sister, Annie, married Job Samples and their son, Job (b. 1899) died in the war. He served as George Samples in the 17th Bn Sherwood Foresters (28527 Private) and was killed on 16 June 1916 aged 17 years. See record on this ROH. Annie's brother-in-law, Henry Samples, her husband's brother, served in the 1st Bn Northamptonshire Regiment (19386 Private) and died of wounds on 13 June 1918 aged 41. See record on this ROH.
Remembered on