Born: 21st April 1878, Walsham le Willows, Suffolk.
Died: 13th May 1901; age: 23; Died of Disease at Pretoria, Gauteng, South Africa.
Residence: Cranmer Green, Walsham le Williws, Suffolk.
Occupation: a Labourer.
Enlistment Date: 28th December 1894.
Rank: Lance Corporal; Service Number: 4122.
Regiment: Suffolk Regiment, 1st Battalion, South Africa Field Force.
Clasps Awarded: Cape Colony, Orange Free State & Transvaal + South Africa 1901 medal.
1881 Four Ashes, Walsham le Willows, Suffolk.
Thomas was 3 years old and living with his parents & siblings.
Emerson Read, 45, an Agricultural Labourer, born Walsham le Willows.
Lucy Read (nee Kerridge), 41, born Walsham le Willows.
James Read, 14, a Stable Boy, born Walsham le Willows.
Lucy Ellen Read, 12, born Walsham le Willows – died 1886, Walsham le Willows.
Charles Thomas Read, 10, a Farm Servant, born Walsham le Willows.
Elizabeth Read, 6, born Walsham le Willows.
Clara Read, 5, born Walsham le Willows.
Alice Mary Read, 1 month, born Walsham le Willows.
1891 Cranmer Green, Walsham le Willows, Suffolk.
Thomas was 13 years old, Groom and Stable Boy. He was living with his father & step mother and step siblings.
Emerson, 54, an Agricultural Labourer.
Jane Read (nee Woods (1st marriage Bird)), 44, born Walsham le Willows.
Henry Bird, 15, an Agricultural Labourer, born Walsham le Willows.
Herbert Bird, 13, an Agricultural Labourer, born Walsham le Willows.
George Bird, 11, born Walsham le Willows.
Jane Bird, 4, born Walsham le Willows.
Thomas’s mother, Lucy Read died 1884, Walsham le Willows, Suffolk.
Soldiers’ Effects to Emerson Read – father.
Thomas’s step brother, Herbert Bird lost his life in the First World War when he was KiA on the 3rd July 1916, aged 38. Herbert was ranked a Private, service number 20425 for the Suffolk Regiment, 7th Battalion. He was laid to rest at Ovillers-la-Boiselle, Somme, France.
One of the notable Battles with a large loss of Suffolk life was the “Battle of Suffolk hill” at Colesberg, Northern Cape 5th- 6th January 1900. The hill was originally called Red or Grassy Hill. The Suffolk regiment was ordered to make a night attack on a Boer position on the heights, four companies, 354 of all ranks, set out at midnight under the command of Col. Watson. The Suffolks were met by a storm of bullets. The Colonel was amongst the first to fall, and the party later retired with 11 officers and 150+ men killed, wounded or captured.