Thomas William Savage, Private 290389, 1/7th Cheshire Regiment
Died 19th April 1917 in Gaza, Palestine, aged 28
Thomas William Savage was baptised at St Michael’s Church, Macclesfield, on 16 March 1887, the son of Elizabeth and Thomas Savage, a small-ware dealer of Macclesfield (small-wares could be small kitchen utensils, or ribbons, lace, braids and similar textiles). In 1901, thirteen-year-old Thomas was living at 20 Market Place with his parents and older sister Lily, 17.
By 1911 the family had moved to 4 Cumberland Street, Thomas senior had died, and Lily was married and had two children. Thomas filled out and signed the census form and said he was a carter for a mineral water company (as opposed to a clerk, as stated by his mother in his obituary).
Thomas enlisted in the local 7th Cheshire (Territorial) Regiment in November 1914 and was drafted to Gallipoli with the regiment in July 1915.
The death of Private Thomas Savage was reported in the Macclesfield Times on 11 May 1917:
KILLED IN EGYPT: LOSS OF AN ONLY SON – Private Thomas William Savage, of the Cheshire Regt, only son of the late Alderman Thomas Savage and of Mrs Savage, 10 Catherine Street, Macclesfield, was killed in action in Egypt on April 19th.
Twenty-eight years of age and single, Private Savage was a native of Macclesfield and commenced his education at Christ Church Day School, afterwards going to the Modern School. On leaving school he was employed as a clerk in the offices of Aked Parkinson’s mineral water works, Westminster Street, and afterwards went as an apprentice to Messrs. Ray’s, Great King Street. He enlisted in November following the outbreak of war, and after training at Bedford, Northampton and Aberystwyth was drafted out to Suvla Bay. While there he sustained a wound in the ankle and was transferred to hospital at Alexandria. Upon recovery, Private Savage rejoined his regiment, and after being stationed in the desert for a period, took part in the battle of Gaza on March 26th. He came through safely and wrote a field-card on the day before his death, stating he was alright. This was received by his mother the day after the official intimation of his death came through. He was to have come home on leave next October.
Pte Savage took an interest in cricket, football, billiards, running and walking. He has two cousins serving in Egypt, whom he had met out there, namely, Private Arnold Savage, of the Cheshire Regt, and Sergt Harold Hodkinson, who is expecting a commission.
GRO (England & Wales) Index: Births
Cheshire Parish Baptism Registers (FindMyPast): St Michael’s Church, Macclesfield
Census (England & Wales): 1901, 1911
Commonwealth War Graves Commission website
Macclesfield Times: 11 May 1917, 23 September 1921 (photo supplement)