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Thomas Moody (1888-)

Lumley born miner who was one of three brothers who served in the Durham Light Infantry

Thomas Moody was born in Lumley on 24 April 1888. His father was Thomas Moody senior, a coal miner who was born in Bournmoor in 1855. His mother was Christiana Moody nee Smith (1856-1894) who was born in Scotland. Thomas’ parents married around 1873 and had six known children giving Thomas junior three brothers and two sisters. One of his brothers, named Robert, died in infancy. In 1891 the Moody family lived at 13 Pottery Row, Great Lumley. Thomas’ mother Christiana died in 1894 and his father remarried around 1901. At the time of the 1901 census, Thomas was living with his father, new step mother Ann and his two brothers at Middle Chare, Chester-le-Street. Thomas was working as a pony driver in a local coal mine in 1901.

Thomas married Winifred “Winnie” Payton in 1907. She was a coke-drawer’s daughter from Brandon. At the time of the 1911 census the couple were living in Hobson’s Buildings, Witton Gilbert. A son and daughter had been born during their marriage by this time. Thomas was working as a hewer in a local coal mine.

Thomas attested in the Durham Light Infantry (DLI). He was given the service number 2526 and served in the 1st/8th Battalion DLI along with his two brothers George and Joseph. He disembarked in France on 19/20 April 1915 and just seven days later was taken prisoner in action at Boetleer’s Farm, Ypres, Flanders, Belgium. He was one of 342 DLI men listed as missing in this action, many of who were made prisoners of war (POW). His brother George was killed in action in this battle.

Red Cross Prisoner of War records show Thomas spent time in various POW camps during the war, including Münster II, Mannheim and Dülmen. Thomas’ younger brother Joseph was also taken as a POW during the war but not until 1918. Thomas was awarded the 1914-15 Star, the Victory Medal and the British War Medal for his service in World War One.

After serving out the war as a POW Thomas returned to County Durham. Thomas and Winifred had a third child in 1926, a daughter also called Winifred. At the time the 1939 England and Wales Register was taken Thomas was living at 13 Wark Street, Chester-le-Street with his wife and two of their children. He was working as a general labourer.

Civil Parish: Witton Gilbert

Birth date: 24-Apr-1888

Armed force/civilian: Army

Residence: 13 Pottery Row, Great Lumley (1891 census)
Middle Chare, Chester le Street (1901 census)
Hobson’s Buildings, Witton Gilbert (1911 census)
13 Wark Street, Chester-le-Street (1939 England and Wales Register)

Employment: Coal miner – pony driver (1901 census)
Coal miner – hewer (1911 census)
General labourer (1939 England and Wales Register)

Family: Parents: Thomas Moody (b 1855), Christiana Moody (1864-1894)
Siblings: Katherine Jane Moody (b 1877), Elizabeth Moody (b 1878), Robert Moody (1881-1881), George Moody (b 1886), Joseph Moody (b 1891)
Spouse: Winifred “Winnie” Moody nee Payton (b 1890)
Children: Christina Catherine Moody (b 1910), John Thomas Moody (b 1908), Winifred Moody (b 1926)

Military service:

Durham Light Infantry
1st/8th Battalion

Medal(s): 1914-15 Star
British War Medal
Victory Medal

Gender: Male

Contributed by David D, Stanley, Co Durham

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