Private Thomas Duffin, 1st/5th Battalion, Royal Warwickshire Regiment, died on 24th August 1917, aged 38. He was born in Packwood in 1879 and was the third of the eight children born to parents Thomas, an agricultural labourer, and Jane (née Kirby) who had married at Packwood in 1873 when Thomas (senior), a widower, was aged 48 and Jane was 19.
The family remained in Packwood until at least 1901, although Thomas (junior) had left home by then and was working at Four Ashes, Bentley Heath as a farm servant. In 1907 his father, Thomas, died in Solihull Workhouse, aged 83 and it seems that the rest of the family then relocated to Bentley Heath. By 1911, Thomas was aged 34, working as a domestic gardener and living in Bentley Heath with his widowed mother and two of his brothers, Alfred (aged 24) and Harold James (13).
Thomas appears not to have served overseas with before 1916. He was killed in action on 24th August 1917 and has no known grave, so his name is one of the 35,000 on the Tyne Cot Memorial to the Missing. He is commemorated on Solihull war memorial, as Bentley Heath was part of Solihull parish. His name isn’t included on the war memorial of Packwood, presumably owing to the family having moved away from the area before the war started.
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