Joined up for short service in 1905 as Private 7964 Royal Berkshire Regiment, serving in India and Egypt. By 1911 Thomas was back on home soil based at Brock Barracks in Reading. He was mobilised on 5th August 1914 to the London Regiment. During the war he helped destroy 11 German boats at mouth of Zeebrugge harbour but was subsequently killed in action on 5th November 1918, age 31.
Thomas was born in West Ilsley in 1887. Son of William (a shepherd) and Elizabeth Barlow of Brightwell. The census shows that by 1901 Thomas, his parents and seven siblings had moved to 57 Caps Lane, Cholsey; Thomas, 14yrs by then, was a ‘teamster on a farm’ His Parents William and Elizabeth Barlow moved to Brightwell before 1911.
Husband of Edith (née Marshall) of 25 Kings Road, Caversham. We know that Edith was left with 3 young children and awarded a pension of 29s.7d a week. Sadly, Edith died in 1925 and we believe the children’s grandmother, Ellen Marshall, who also lived in Reading, took them in.
In civilian life Thomas had worked for Great Western Railway as a linesman in Reading and his name is on memorials at Paddington Station and Swindon GWR Museum.Thomas is the Grandfather of Terence Barlow who now resides in Milton Keynes. Villagers may also know Terry Bennet and his wife Beryl, who live on Greenmere who is the Grandson of Arthur William Barlow, Thomas’s brother.