Thomas George Barnes:

Born 1864 ~ Died ????:

Thomas George Barnes was born on the 11th September 1864 in Reading, Berkshire to Thomas and Jane Barnes. The family were living at number 5 Cave Court, Crown Street, Reading and Thomas was baptised at the nearby St. Giles Church on the 13th November 1864. By 1871, Thomas now aged 6,  is living at 4 Southampton Road East, Nine Elms with his mother, father and brothers William and Charles John.

On the 1881 census, Thomas aged 16 is still living with his mother and father at 9 Henry Street, Lambeth and is employed as a 'Railway Carman' - a delivery driver, the equivalent of today's 'white van man'. He is entered on the census under his middle name 'George', perhaps this was to avoid confusion between Thomas the son and Thomas the father.

Thomas marries Anne Jane Kenmore on the 2nd October 1887at St. Paul's Church, Newington (London). He is living at 107 Hill Street at the time and his bride to be is living a few doors down at number 98. On their marriage certificate, Thomas George is described as a 'brewer'. They have a daughter, Florence in about 1889 and son Thomas Charles is born on the 7th May 1890. The family is now living at 49 Tindal Street and Thomas is employed as a brewer's drayman (for those of you who don't know, a drayman was the driver of a cart pulled by shire horses that delivered barrels of beer to pubs).

Thomas and his family are still living at 49 Tindal Street in the 1891 census. Two more children are born, Ethel in about 1896 and Herbert Robert Albert in the January of  1898. Thomas and his family are living at 23 Cobbett and Thomas (shown as George on his son's birth certificate) is a brewers servant. In the 1901 census they are still living at 23 Cobbett Street, which is where his mother and father were living from 1881 to 1891 and perhaps later. Maybe Thomas George and his wife and family moved in as his father and mother moved out. In 1901, Thomas is a brewer's assistant working at the Anchor Brewery in Dorset Road, a few hundred yards from his front door in Cobbett Street.

My father has in his possession a letter from his Aunt Vi (Violet Mary - the wife of William Henry Barnes, a nephew of Thomas George's) that tells of two sons, one of whom was killed in the First World War - he died of a stomach wound. The letter refers to the son as 'Bob' and (this is before I had found his correct name) that he was 'Robert' and searched the Commonwealth Graves Commission website and also searched for his medal card entry without any success. It was with the early release of the 1911 census that I discovered his full name - Herbert Robert Albert and from there his birth certificate, the entry on the CWGC website and his medal card. Interestingly on Herbert Robert Albert's birth certificate his mothers maiden name is shown as Kenmore. 
There is another  letter from Aunt Violet that states that there were five children and that William's wife Annie died. The letter goes on to say that William remarried to Violet's grandmother when Violet was either 12 or 14. This would be in 1918 or 1920 and Violet Mary tells us that Thomas's second wife - her grandmother - dies in 1932.  Violet May's mother was Annie May Rippin and on the marriage certificate of Thomas and Anne Jane one of the witnesses is Annie Rippin. This cannot be Annie May Rippin as in 1887 she is only five years old - this must be Annie May's mother also called Annie. I will try an find the marriage for William and Violet May's grandmother in 1918 or 1920.

Further research has found that Thomas George committed suicide by hanging in September 1922. A post mortem was carried out two days after he died. The coroner recorded that he was of unsound mind. Perhaps we will never know why he killed himself, his father Thomas had died in 1917 and his son Herbert Robert Albert was killed in the First World War, maybe these events had a great effect on him.