Lives Lived and Lives Lost - Portsmouth and the Great War

After watching the Great War unfold for nearly four years Thomas Jago was finally conscripted on the 15th April 1918 which was on or near his 18th birthday. His parents, Thomas and Clara, may have hoped that the war would end before that date arrived but conversely they may even have looked forward to him following his father and grandfather into the armed forces.
The evidence for Thomas's grandfather, also known as Thomas, serving in the forces is rather circumstantial. He was born in 1846 but the place of birth is unknown. He married Mary Ann Webb at Portsea in 1864 and she gave birth to their son, Thomas, in 1865. Thomas, the grandfather, is then missing from the census in 1871 whilst Mary stayed with her parents Edward and Mary Webb and at the census in 1881 both Thomas and Mary are out of the UK, the inference being that he was posted abroad and latterly had taken his wife with him.
The grounds for stating that Thomas, the father, was in the forces are provided by the 1891 census in which he is described as a stoker in the Royal Navy. That census was the first following the marriage between Thomas, the father, and Clara Evans which took place in 1890. Clara already had one son, Harry, from her first marriage (in 1883) to Henry Evans who died in 1887. Clara's maiden name was Wassell.
In 1891 Thomas, Clara and Harry were sharing a house at 41 Bishop Street, Portsea and it wasn't long before they started having children together. By 1901 Thomas had left the navy to take up work as a painter and decorator and the census that year recorded him and Clara living at 35 Cuthbert Road, Fratton, off St. Mary's Road, with their three children, Clara Nellie who had been born in 1893, Lillie Gwenie in 1897 and Thomas Edward in 1900. The family record remained the same in 1911.
Thomas Edward was only 14 years of age at the outbreak of the Great War, plainly too young to enlist. When he did so in 1918 he was posted to the 51st Battalion, Hampshire Regiment which saw no action during the war. It was however sent to Germany as part of the Army on the Rhine after the Armistice. It's not known whether Thomas Edward went with them as he died in England, probably from influenza, in March 1920.
The Commonwealth War Graves Commission (CWGC) lists Thomas Edward Ernest Jago, Private (02419), 51st Battalion, Hampshire Regiment, died on 16/03/1920, age 20. Buried at Kingston Cemetery, Portsmouth, (Grave Ref: Brambles.1.11.). Son of Thomas Edward and Clara Jago, of 35, Cuthbert Rd., Kingston, Portsmouth.
Thomas Jago is not commemorated on the Cenotaph in Guildhall Square and nor is he listed in the 'National Roll of the Great War', Section X.
Tim Backhouse
February 2015