Private Tom Cubberley MM died on 21st September 1916 serving with the 2nd Battalion, Worcestershire Regiment. He was born in Lapworth in 1887 and grew up in the Shirley/Monkspath area.
His parents, Thomas Cubberley (an agricultural labourer) and Constance Richardson (née Satchwell) married in 1886. It was Thomas’s first marriage but Constance’s second. In 1881, the pair appear to have lived next door to each other in Shirley Heath – Thomas was living with his mother and step-siblings, whilst Constance was living with her first husband, James Richardson, and their three children – Jim, Sam, and Ellen. A fourth child, daughter Sophia, was born in 1883. James Richardson died in the same year, leaving Constance with four children aged under seven.
By 1891, Thomas and Constance Cubberley were living in Hall Green with their children, Tom (aged 4) and Kate (1), and two of Constance’s children from her first marriage – Samuel (14) and Sophia (8). Another child – Joseph – was born in 1893.
In 1901, the family was living in Longmore Lane, Shirley. 14-year-old Tom was listed with his mother, Constance (a charwoman, aged 47) and his siblings, Kate (10) and Joe (8). By 1911, Constance had moved to live with her brother, Joseph Satchwell, in Haslucks Green Road, Shirley. Also there were three of her children, and three grandchildren: her son, Samuel Richardson; her widowed daughter Sophia Thompson (28) and Sophia’s two children (Ellen (5) and Mary (2); her married daughter Ellen Perks, and Ellen’s daughter, Daisy (1). Her son, 23-year-old Tom, wasn’t with the family but had already enlisted in the Worcestershire Regiment and was away with his regiment in India.
Tom Cubberley’s service record appears to be amongst those destroyed by bombing in 1940 so we don’t have any details about his war service. However, he doesn’t appear to have served overseas before 1916, as his medal index card shows no entitlement to a 1914 or 1914/15 Star.
Private Tom Cubberley is buried in Foncquevillers Military Cemetery, France. He is also commemorated locally on Shirley War Memorial.
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Heritage & Local Studies Librarian
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