We don’t have very much information about Private Thomas Reader, 1st Battalion, Royal Warwickshire Regiment, so would be very grateful if you can add any details.
He was born in London c. 1880, but had moved up to Warwickshire by the time of the 1891 census, when he was listed, aged 12, living with his grandparents William Reader (a farmer) and Elizabeth at Trap’s Green Farm, Ullenhall.Ten years later, he was still in Warwickshire, aged 20, boarding with 71-year-old charwoman, Maria Hunt, at Tanworth-in-Arden. He was listed as a bricklayer’s labourer.
We struggled to find him on the 1911 census but, thanks to an email from researcher, Helen, we know he was still living in Tanworth-in-Arden, aged 32, unmarried, and listed as a boarder with the Collins family. His occupation is listed as general labourer (Army Pensioner), indicating that he had been a regular soldier and had been discharged to pension. The next trace of him that we have found is his arrival in a Theatre of War with the Royal Warwickshire Regiment on 27th August 1914, and then his being killed in action on 5th November 1914.
He is commemorated locally on the war memorial at Tanworth-in-Arden, which is not in the present Borough of Solihull (although parts of the parish, e.g. Dickens Heath) are within the modern borough. However, Tanworth was part of the Solihull Rural District, which was the local authority area at the time of the First World War, so we are including individuals from Tanworth in our research.
If you have any more information about Thomas Reader, please let us know.
Heritage & Local Studies Librarian
tel.: 0121 704 6934