Thomas James Gentles

Date of birth: 1899
Place of birth: Shirley, Southampton
Regiment: Hampshire
Battalion: 1st
Rank / Service No: Private, 9544
Died: 2nd July 1916, aged 18 years
Buried: Bertrancourt Military Cemetery, France (Plot I, Row G, Grave 23)


Thomas was the second of 7 siblings born to Thomas and Mary Ann Gentles (nee Allen), who married in Southampton in 1894.

Thomas had a half-brother, who was the son of Thomas with an unknown mother (probably called Jenkins).


The family were living at 13 Upper Bugle Street in the city centre at the 1911 Census.


Thomas was born in Glasgow in 1863 and he died in Southampton in 1929.

Mary was born in Liverpool in 1879 and she passed away in Southampton in 1950.



Robert Jenkins-Gentles   b. 1887 Liverpool   d. 1969 Southampton

Marjory MAY   b. 1895 Shirley   d. 1987 Gosport   Married Henry C. Jamieson in Alverstoke in 1915.

Thomas James

Albert Edward   b. 1899 Shirley d. 1899 Shirley

Mary Ann   b. 1901 Shirley   d. 26 September 1950 Southampton

Dorothy Amy   b. 1902 Shirley   d. 1992 Southampton   Married Sidney Kinchenton in Southampton in 1920.

John William   b. 1907 Shirley   d. 1983 Southampton

Bessie Violet   b. 1910 Shirley   d. 1993 Romsey   Married Percival W. Coombs in Romsey in 1930.


The 1st Hampshire became part of the 11th Brigade of the 4th Division in III Corps prior to their departure for France in August 1914.

They were immediately in action at Le Cateau, near Mons, covering the retreat of the B.E.F.


It is probable that Thomas was wounded during the Battle of Albert, fought between July 1 – 13th.


On the first day of this battle (the first of the First Battle of the Somme) the British suffered 57,000 casualties, with the 1st Hampshires losing 320 men with 265 wounded, the battalion’s worst experience of the war.


The cemetery was used by field ambulances in 1916 and 1917, and holds 416 Commonwealth WW1 burials.


Thomas’ headstone reads: “At rest.”



Researcher: Mark Heritage
Published: 28th July 2016


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