Reginald Thomas was born in Bristol in April 1899. He grew up in Bishopston and lived at 31 Falmouth Road – it would have been an easy walk to Bishop Road Boys, where he went to school when he was little. You will have probably walked past his house without ever knowing! Look out for the holly tree in the front garden (Reg planted it when he was a young boy). It is believed that he loved drawing and his house still has his painted frescos around the top of the walls, above the picture rails.
His parents were Albert and Mary Thomas and he was the youngest of 4 (Edith, Albert and Edwin). The family ran the family business on Bishop Road called A. E. Thomas and Sons (and still do!) and on the 1911 census returns, their occupations are listed as builder, builder’s clerk, carpenter and decorator. When Reg’s father died in 1941, he left the family business to his son Alfred.
The ‘Never Absent, Never Late’ that Reg was awarded at Bishop Road tells us that Reg took his education seriously. The family still treasure these.
During the First World War he served with the Machine Gun Corps (M.G.C) regiment as Private 131665 and died of his wounds when he was only 19 years old. After, he was awarded the ‘Victory’ and the ‘British’ medals of honour. He was buried in Lijssenthoek Military Cemetery, Belguim and his father chose to have the following words engraved on his son’s tomb stone: “Thy purpose Lord we can not see, but all that’s well is done by thee”.
We are very grateful for the support and generosity show by Reginald’s family. Below are just some of the objects and photos that they shared with us in memory of Reg.