Date of birth: 1866
Place of birth: Southampton
Date of marriage: 1898
Place of marriage: Southampton
Service No.: 2282
Regiment / Division: Royal Defence Corps
Battalion: 14th Battalion
Died: 21st January 1918 aged 51 years
Death Location: Portsmouth Hampshire
Life before the War
Tom was born in 1866 in Southampton to parents George and Harriet, nee Gulley, who married in 1858 Southampton. This was George’s second marriage. George was born 1820 Southampton and Harriet in 1837 in Ashley, Wiltshire. Tom had siblings Mary Ann Rebecca b. 1859, George Hill b. 1861, William b. 1864 and James Henry b. 1868.
The 1871 census tells us that Tom with his parents and siblings were living at 21 Belle Vue Street, St Mary’s, Southampton. George was a Labourer and Harriet was working as a Needlewoman.
In 1881 the family had moved to 2 Farmers Court, St Mary’s, Southampton. George was a Bricklayer Labourer. Tom was employed as an Errand Boy whilst his brother George was a Bricklayer Labourer and brother William a Slaters Labourer.
George had died by the 1891 census and Harriet had remarried to John Sale.
There is no further trace of Tom until 1898 when he married Charlotte Powell in Southampton. This may be because he was abroad serving in the Army. Charlotte can be found in the 1901 census with her children Henry and Ruth Powell from a previous marriage and Gladys Felton b. 1900, a daughter from her marriage to George. They are living at 17 Lower York Street, St Mary’s, Southampton. Tom is not living with them.
In 1911 they are living at 22 Bond Street, Northam, Southampton. Tom is a Labourer at the Gas Works. They have children Harry (aka Henry Powell), Violet Lilian b. 1903, Grace Olive b. 1906 and Ivy Muriel b. 1910.
Tom was about 47 when he enlisted into the Royal Defence Corps. He had already served 19 years with the 1st Battalion, Hampshire Regiment as a Private, Regimental Number 1972 in the Burma War and South African Campaign. He won two decorations:
Indian medal/clasp in the campaign 8th February 1889 – 31st March 1889
Burma medal/clasp in the campaign 17th December 1889 – 8th April 1890
Tom was over the age for fighting and therefore worked in home stations for four years.
He died in Portsmouth Barracks on January 1918 from Bronchial Pneumonia which he contracted whilst on duty.
He is Remembered with Honour at Southampton Old Cemetery.
This cemetery, on Southampton’s Common, belongs to the Corporation. It was made in 1846 under Act of Parliament and it now covers 27 acres. It contains 78 scattered British War Graves, a plot of 21 Belgians and one German.
National Roll of Honour for the Great War
Felton , T. J., Private, Royal Defence Corps
An ex soldier with a previous record of nineteen years service he joined in the Royal defence Corps in September 1914 being overage for the fighting line. For nearly four years he did valuable work at various home stations and in January 1918 died at the Portsmouth Military Barracks of bronchial pneumonia which he contracted whilst on duty.
22 Bond Street, Northam, Southampton