Thomas Gee, Gunner L/3434, “B” Bty. 66th Bde, Royal Field Artillery
Died 27th June 1916 in Mesopotamia (Iraq), aged 38
Thomas Gee was baptised at Holy Trinity Church, Parr Mount, St Helens on 30th December 1877, the son of Susannah and James Gee, an engine turner of Pocket Nook. In 1881, three year old Thomas was living at 92 Pocket Nook Street, St Helens, with his parents and brothers Adam (2) and 5 month old James. Ten years later in 1891, the family had moved to 1 Graham Street, St Helens, and included another three children: John W (7), Fred (5) and Elizabeth (1).
By 1901, another move had taken place, this time to 155 Westfield St, St Helens, and 23 year old Thomas was employed as a tea dealer.
At the age of 32, Thomas married 36 year old Mary Elizabeth Hood on 12th July 1910 at St Thomas’ Church, Henbury, near Macclesfield. On this date the couple were living next door to each other, at 32 and 34 Broken Cross, and Thomas was employed as a proof passer. By the time of the census the following year, 2nd April 1911, the couple were living at 34 Acton Place, Broken Cross, Macclesfield, had a three month old son, James Gordon Gee, and Thomas was an artificial teeth agent.
Thomas attested with the Royal Garrison Artillery at Warrington on 27th November 1914. He stated on his army service papers that he lived at 155 Westfield St, St Helens, and was employed as a clerk. He was described as 5 feet 8½ inches tall and had a 33 inch chest. His next of kin was his wife, Mary Elizabeth Gee, who lived at 34 Acton Place, Broken Cross, Macclesfield, and his son James Gordon Gee was born in Macclesfield on 1st January 1911.
Thomas was sent to Great Yarmouth for training but was discharged less than a week later on 3rd December due to having “badly fitting dentures which he complains causes him indigestion as he is unable to masticate his food”.
Undeterred, Thomas then went to Liverpool to try his luck with the Scots Guards, enlisting on 29th December 1914. This set of army service papers included the same information as before, and also noted that he had “artificial teeth (both jaws)”. Thomas was sent to Caterham for training on 30th December and lasted 37 days, but was eventually discharged on 3rd February 1915, the reason given that he was “unlikely to become an efficient soldier” due to “deficient teeth two dentures not fitting… to receding gums; gastritis.”
It appears that Thomas either re-enlisted, or was recruited again after conscription was introduced in March 1916; unfortunately these last service papers cannot be found. Thomas died at Sheikh Sa’ad in Mesopotamia (now Iraq) on 27th June 1916, aged 38.
Gunner Thomas Gee is buried in Grave Ref. XI. H. 13. at the Amara War Cemetery, Iraq.
The Commonwealth War Graves Commission holds casualty details for Gunner Thomas Gee, and he is listed on the Imperial War Museum’s Lives of the First World War website.
Locally, Gunner Thomas Gee is commemorated on the Macclesfield Park Green, Town Hall and St Michael’s Church war memorials, and on the Henbury and Broken Cross war memorial at St Thomas Church, Henbury.