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Charles Thomas Gynes was born on 18th November 1884 in Farington and baptised at St Paul’s. His father, William Thomas Gynes (b. 1858 in Stroud, Gloucestershire) was a foreman navvy and urban district council worker and because of his work the family lived in various locations in Lancashire including Horwich and Longridge, but by 1911 the family had moved to Tardy Gate where Tom ran the fish and chip shop which used to stand behind the Tardy Gate Inn. He was married to Elizabeth (maiden name not known, b. 1863 in Penwortham) and they had 6 children of whom Charles Thomas was the oldest.

In fact, by 1911, Charles was already married: in 1907, he had married Ada Swarbrick (b. 1885 in Preston), and in 1911, they were living, briefly, in Barrowford near Nelson, where Charles was working as a domestic gardener. When Charles enlisted on 18 September 1916, the family was living on Leyland Road, Lostock Hall and they had two children: Doris (b. 1910) and Albert (b. 1913). He gives his occupation as labourer. He was 31 yrs old, 5’7” tall and had a 39” chest. He was given service number 35818 and initially joined 4th Battalion but was subsequently posted to 6th Battalion.

Charles remained at home for the first few months but on 3 December 1916 he embarked at Devonport for Bombay where he arrived on 3rd March 1917 and transferred to Bangalore. He left Bangalore on 30th April to join his unit, arriving in Mesopotamia on 3rd May 1917. 6th Battalion had fought at Suvla Bay in the Gallipoli Campaign and then moved to Mesopotamia after the capitulation at Kut Al Amara and was heavily involved in the fighting to capture Baghdad, which fell to the Allies on 11th March 1917. So it was in the aftermath of this fighting that reinforcements (including Charles) began to arrive and were billeted, in the torrid summer heat, at Sindiya (Qaryat As Sindiya) north of Baghdad. There was no fighting between May and September that year. Charles was killed on 19th August 1917, when a bomb exploded accidentally. A Court of Enquiry was held into the accident but the findings are not recorded in his files. 32130 Private George Parramore died of wounds sustained in the same incident.

Ada received his identity disc and wedding ring. She received a war pension of 22s 11d (just over £1 a week). Ada remarried almost immediately, to a French-Canadian soldier, Sgt. Elzéar Joly (b. 1892 in Ontario), they had a daughter Eva the following year and then in July 1919 the whole family emigrated to Canada, settling in Montreal.

Charles had 2 brothers and 3 sisters. One of his brothers served in the Army as 201404 PTE. W. H. GYNES. L.N.LAN.R. (initial service number 3899). William Henry was born in Farington on 23 June 1892, enlisted on 26 May 1915, was posted to 1/4th Bn, and discharged as an invalid on 20th December 1918. He married Margaret Ann Brennan (b. 1887 in Kirkham) on 28 January 1919. He died in Kirkham in 1952.

Rank: Private
Service No: 35818
Date of Death: 19/08/1917
Regiment/Service: The Loyal North Lancashire Regiment 6th Bn.
Grave Reference: XX. A. 16.

Bill Brierley
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3 Responses to 35818 PTE. C. T. GYNES. L.N.LAN.R.

  1. David Gynes says:

    Charles’ Mother was Elizabeth Parker. She died in 1916, before her son was killed.
    Do you have any evidence of Tom’s place and date of birth other than his own statement on the 1911 Census? He was known as “Gloucester Tom” but I have yet to track down a baptism or confirm his parentage.

    • Roger Emond says:

      good day,

      My name is Roger Emond and i am a Grandson of Elzear Joly who married Ada Swarbrick.
      My mother Pauline Joly just pasted away on March 06 2019 and i found in her stuff a medal with Charles Thomas Gynes – big as a tea cup plate – also a ring in copper with no sign of who it belongs to – but as per the above text – it says that this plate and his wedding ring was given back to Ada – it will be my pleasure to return these to you if you wish – sorry for my English as you probably guess i am french Canadian – Hope to meet and will be waiting to hear from you – thank you

    • deborah metchette says:

      Hello David. I am the great-granddaughter of Charles Thomas Gynes. Thank you for giving Elizabeth Parker’s name. Are you a descendent of of Elizabth Parker and William Thomas Gynes?

      Today I met with Roger Emond and he gave me the service meadallion and ring of my grea-grandfather.

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