Lives Lived and Lives Lost - Portsmouth and the Great War

Records relating to Thomas Parfoot's family are surprisingly few in number, with only one before 1901. The Census of that year shows Thomas, aged 2 years, living with his parents Charles and Matilda (who were married in 1892 in Portsea) and elder siblings also called Charles and Matilda. Charles snr. is described as a Bargeman and the family were living at 3 Garibaldi Street, off Twyford Avenue.
By the 1911 Census the family had moved to 49 Tipnor Street in the heart of Rudmore, possibly to accommodate a larger family, which had grown by the addition of three sisters for Thomas, - Florence, Vera and Joan. Interestingly there lived another family of Parfoots two doors away at 45 Tipnor Street, but no clear relationship has been established. The head of that family was Alfred Parfoot, also described as a bargeman, and who was also killed in WW1.
At the outbreak of the Great War Thomas Parfoot was only 15 years old and so shouldn't have been able to enlist in the first wave of voluteers. When he did so he was allocated to the 2nd Battalion of the Hampshire Regiment who needed replacements due to losses at the front. No details of his wartime career are known other than that he was killed on 3rd September 1918. We cannot even be sure where he died as he is buried in a cemetery which wasn't in use at the time, which probably means his body was moved from another temporary grave site.
The Commonwealth War Graves Commission lists Private T. W. Parfoot, (42368), died on 03/09/1918, aged 19 years, 2nd Battalion, Hampshire Regiment. He is buried at Outtersteene Communal Cemetery Extension, Bailleul (Grave Ref: I.F.13.). Son of Charles and Matilda Emma Parfoot, of 18, Tipnor St., Stamshaw, Portsmouth.
Thomas Parfoot is remembered on the St. John the Baptist Church WW1 memorial. The memorial was transferred to St. Agatha's Church, Market Way when St. John's* was declared redundant in 1980. Also remembered on the Cenotaph but not in the National Roll.
Tim Backhouse
January 2014

*St. John the Baptist's Church was on Simpson Road, just north of the junction between Twyford Avenue and the Rudmore roundabout. It was converted to private accommodation.