Lives Lived and Lives Lost - Portsmouth and the Great War

There were only two occasions when Anthony Thomas H Whymark was so named in records of his life, one was at the registration of his birth and one on the memorial to his death at Portsmouth Cathedral. In all other documents he was known as Thomas Whymark.
His birth at Portsea in 1885 came shortly after his father Alfred had taken over the Globe Inn on Oyster Street, Old Portsmouth for the second time. In between the two periods at the Globe the family were residing in Cosford, Suffolk, close to Alfred's birthplace in the tiny hamlet of Semer, just north of the small village of Kersey. Alfred had been born in 1839 to parents who were innkeepers wheres Alfred became instead a blacksmith though he would follow in their footsteps when for no apparent reason he turned up in Portsmouth where in 1865 and bought or rented The Globe Inn.
The Globe stood in a very prominent position adjacent to the Camber Wharf, next door to the John Pounds Ragged Schoool. It was a large building, well suited as a lodging house. The 1871 census lists the Globe at No. 5 Oyster Street and records a household of Alfred, his wife Mary, two daughters, Mary and Eliza plus 37 lodgers. A newspaper report around that time indicated that eight men were sharing a room which in turn suggests that perhaps only five rooms in total were being let to lodgers.
What followed is unknown but the 1881 census recorded Alfred and Mary back in Suffolk with Alfred working once again as a blacksmith. Of their two daughters there was no trace. January 1886 saw the couple back at The Globe and by 1891 they had regained their lodgers but none of their children were in the household. Instead, the Whymarks had established them in a separate house at 41 Oyster Street where the head was 25 year old Mary in charge of her siblings Harriet (b.1874), Ellen (b. 1876), Elizabeth (b. 1880), John (b. 1882), Henry (b. 1884) and Thomas (Anthony Thomas b. 1885). Given the nature of their parents occupation as innkeepers to a large mixture of itinerants in an unruly part of town it is hardly surprising that they would want to separate work and family. Even so, Alfred and Mary seem to have maintained discipline at the Inn as there were only two incidents worthy of being reported by the Hampshire Telegraph during the three decades they were at The Globe.
By the time of the census in 1901 the buildings on Oyster Street had been renumbered and The Globe was assigned No. 48, but it still had its 37 lodgers whilst some of the children, including Thomas had moved back into the family household. Six months after the census Mary, the mother of Thomas, died aged 56 years. Alfred stayed put at the Globe but retired from the management of the business in favour of his son John.
Of Thomas little is known for certain. As he was absent from the UK at the time of the 1911 census it seems likely that he had already joined the army. He probably spent some time in Scotland as the CWGC record contains evidence that he married there, also, he served in the 416th Field Company which was raised in Edinburgh. Thomas would have been 28 years old at the outbreak of the Great War and served on the Western Front for three years before losing his life in August 1917.
The Commonwealth War Graves Commission (CWGC) list Sapper Thomas Whymark (490381), 416th Field Company, Royal Engineers, died 17/08/1917, aged 31. Buried at the Brandhoek New Military Cemetery No 3, Ieper, Belgium (Grave Ref: I.A.3.). Husband of Johan Beharrie Whymark, of 71, High St., Dundee.
Thomas Whymark is commemorated on the Anglican Cathedral WW1 Memorial Cross and the Cenotaph. He is not listed in "The National Roll of the Great War", Section X.
Thomas's marriage in Scotland has left no obvious trace in the archives, under either Anthony or Thomas.
Tim Backhouse
October 2014