Lives Lived and Lives Lost - Portsmouth and the Great War

There is a 40 year gap in the census records of the Ide family which makes a comprehensive history of them difficult to reconstruct. William Thomas's father, Jesse Ide, appears in the 1861 census when he was a 6 year old son of agricultural labourer George Ide and his wife Avis of Oving in Sussex, but there is no further record of Jesse until the 1901 census. There should be an entry in the marriage registers for 1887 when he married his wife Mary Ann, but none has yet been found.
The first concrete evidence of Jesse and his family appears in the 1901 census when they were living at 22 Abingdon Road, off Somers Road in Southsea. With Jesse and Mary Ann were their three children, Alice, who had been born in Oving in 1889, Mabel and William Thomas who were both born in Portsmouth, in 1895 and 1896 respectively. At the time Jesse was working as a labourer in the Dockyard but by 1911 he had gained enough skills to call himself a rigger.
The 1911 census lists the family at 225 Westfield Road in Eastney and describes the 14 year old William Thomas, rather surprisingly, as a 'piano tuner'. At the outbreak of the Great War William Thomas was 18 years old but he decided not to enlist straight away. He probably did so in April 1915 when the call went out for young men to join the 2nd Portsmouth Battalion, later the 15th Battalion of the Hampshire Regiment. William Thomas and the rest of the 15th Battalion landed in France in May 1916, as part of the 41st Division, where they took part in the Battles of the Somme. In October 1916 William Thomas was killed in action. He has no known grave.
The Commonwealth War Graves Commission (CWGC) lists William Thomas Ide, Private (20396), 15th Battalion, Hampshire Regiment, died on 07/10/1916, age 20. Commemorated at the Thiepval Memorial, (Pier and Face 7 C and 7 B.). Son of Jesse and Mary A. Ide, of 225, Westfield Rd., Southsea, Portsmouth.
William Ide is commemorated on the Cenotaph in Guildhall Square. He is not listed in the 'National Roll of the Great War', Section X.
Tim Backhouse
February 2015