Tom Hutchings

Royal Garrison Artillery

Personal Details

Born: 3 January 1881 in Kilrush, Clare, Ireland.

Family: The 1881 and 1891 Irish census records were destroyed in WW1, so research has been unable to identify his parents. He married Frances Ann McCarthy in 1907 in Pembrokeshire, Wales. They had three children: Lilian Emily Elaine, William Cyril and Violet Doreen.

Residence: The 1911 Census records him and his wife with the army in China and Hong Kong. It is possible that as he was born in Ireland his early life was there; the Irish 1881 and 1891 census records were destroyed in World War 2. No link can be found to the address on the 1919 Absent Voters’ Register – 34 Worthington Street, Whitchurch. However, his medal index card does have two addresses: Prees Heath, Whitchurch, Shropshire and 18 Charlton Place, Pembroke Docks, South Wales. We know his wife died in 1939 in Kent and is buried in Bexleyheath cemetery. The 1939 Register shows him living as a widower at 451 Rochester Way, Bexley, Kent. He was living at 572 Etruria Road, Stoke-upon-Trent when he died.

Employment: He was a career soldier, joining up in 1900, gaining his commission in 1916 and rising to the rank of Captain before he retired. In 1939 he was a civil service clerk.

Died: 21 November 1963 at Lymewood Hospital, Newcastle-under-Lyme.

Other information: Tom’s son William Cyril was a Squadron Leader in the RAF in WW2, was awarded the DFC, and was killed in a flying training accident in 1942.

Military Details

Regiment: Royal Garrison Artillery

Rank: Private, rising through the ranks, gaining his commission to Lieutenant during WW1 and retiring as Captain.

Service Number: 3098 (prior to receiving his commission)

Date of Enlistment: Not known

Date of Discharge: Stayed on serving after the war.

Reason for Discharge: Retired

Other Information: Entitled to wear a wound stripe.

Medals and Awards

Tom was awarded the Campaign Medals (1914 Star with clasps, British War Medal and Victory Medal).

Campaign Medals

Great War History Hub Whitchurch Shropshire Medals Front Image

The 1914 Star (also known as 'Pip') was authorised under Special Army Order no. 350 in November 1917 and by an Admiralty Fleet Order in 1918, for award to officers and men of the British and Indian Expeditionary Forces who served in France or Belgium between 5 August and midnight of 22–23 November 1914. The former date is the day after Britain's declaration of war against the Central Powers, and the closing date marks the end of the First Battle of Ypres.

The 1914–15 Star (also known as 'Pip') was instituted in December 1918 and was awarded to officers and men of British and Imperial forces who served against the Central European Powers in any theatre of the Great War between 5 August 1914 and 31 December 1915. The period of eligibility was prior to the introduction of the Military Service Act 1916, which instituted conscription in Britain.

The British War Medal (also known as 'Squeak') was a silver or bronze medal awarded to officers and men of the British and Imperial Forces who either entered a theatre of war or entered service overseas between 5th August 1914 and 11th November 1918 inclusive. This was later extended to services in Russia, Siberia and some other areas in 1919 and 1920. Approximately 6.5 million British War Medals were issued. Approximately 6.4 million of these were the silver versions of this medal. Around 110,000 of a bronze version were issued mainly to Chinese, Maltese and Indian Labour Corps. The front (obv or obverse) of the medal depicts the head of George V. The recipient's service number, rank, name and unit was impressed on the rim.

The Allied Victory Medal (also known as 'Wilfred') was issued by each of the allies. It was decided that each of the allies should each issue their own bronze victory medal with a similar design, similar equivalent wording and identical ribbon. The British medal was designed by W. McMillan. The front depicts a winged classical figure representing victory. Approximately 5.7 million victory medals were issued. Interestingly, eligibility for this medal was more restrictive and not everyone who received the British War Medal ('Squeak') also received the Victory Medal ('Wilfred'). However, in general, all recipients of 'Wilfred' also received 'Squeak' and all recipients of The 1914 Star or The 1914/1915 Star (also known as 'Pip') also received both 'Squeak' and 'Wilfred'. The recipient's service number, rank, name and unit was impressed on the rim.

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