HANCHETT, Thomas Alfred

No.925312, Gunner, Thomas Alfred HANCHETT
Aged 21

"A" Battery 280th (City of London) Brigade, Royal Field Artillery
formerly No.915, Royal Field Artillery
Killed in Action on Wednesday, 22nd August 1917

Thomas Alfred Hanchett was born in Stanstead, Suffolk (Sudbury Q4-1895 4A:729), baptised in St James, Stanstead, on 10th October 1897, son of Edward and Maria HANCHETT (née EVERETT). Known within the family as Alfred.

1901 census...Aged 5, he was at The Hall, Upper Street, Stanstead with his father Edward HANCHETT [43] farmer and miller; his mother Maria Kate [39] , born in Polstead, Suffolk; brothers Edward Everett [13], Benjamin Wakelin [11], Charles Richard[7] and Richard [3]; sister Kathleen [12] and Martha Elizabeth [8]. All except his mother were born in Stanstead.

1911 census...Aged 15, he was a clerk (Commercial Wholesale Drapery), boarding at 22 Mecklenburgh Square, Grays Inn,London. Brother Richard was a pupil at school in the Royal Asylum of St Anne's Society, Redhill, Surrey. His widower father, a rodent destroyer,

The Army have as legatees - cousin Dorothy DEEKS, sisters Mrs Kathleen COLE and Martha HANCHETT and aunt Matilda DEEKS.

His younger brother Richard was killed in action serving in France in 1916 with the London Rifle Brigade see here

He enlisted in London. He apparently added 2 years to his age.
The war diary has not been found, but artillery men are very difficult to place.However in this case, since Thomas has a CWGC concentration card, we can see that he was found (as shown below) not far from his current resting place. 4 men of the same battery (presumably the same gun crew) were buried under one cross and moved to Birr Cross Roads Cemetery after the war. The pension card has his death as due to shellfire.

A note from him in family autograph book, courtesy if his great-niece Frances Morgan

Thomas Hanchett is buried in Birr Cross Roads Cemetery, grave 3:B:16
and also commemorated on the war memorial at Belchamp St.Paul.

click here to go to the Commonwealth War Graves Commission website for full cemetery/memorial details

BACK to Horseheath home page