Thomas Birch

Thomas Birch was born in Heswall, Wirral on 12th October 1876 and baptised on 4th February the following year. He was the son of William Birch (born Heswall) and his wife Margaret (nee Cohen) who was born on the Isle of Man.

The 1881 Census showed four-year old Thomas living in Heswall with his parents and his siblings William (15), who was a farm servant, Peter (14), Joseph (12), Edward (11) and Henry (2). An older sister Catherine, who was now 17 years old, had left home to work in service. The father was employed as a gardener.

Ten years later, the family were living at Station Cottages in Heswall. The eldest son, William, had married and left home and the father was still working as a domestic gardener. Peter and Joseph were general labourers and Edward and Thomas were also domestic gardeners.

Sadly, in August 1897, Thomas’ mother died, aged 59 years and was buried in Heswall.
By 1901 Peter and Edward had left home, their father and Henry were working as domestic gardeners and Joseph and Thomas were road labourers. The family were now living at School Hill in Heswall.

On 19th November 1902, Thomas married Emma Jones Parry, the daughter of John Bridge Parry, at St.Catherine’s Church in Old Colwyn, Denbighshire. Thomas was 26 years old and Emma was 23 years old. Emma had been born in Abergele. Thomas’ occupation was given as a platelayer.

By 1911 the couple were living at Gayton Croft in Heswall. Thomas was employed as a domestic gardener and they now had a son, Thomas, 5 years old, who had been born in Heswall.
Thomas’ father, William, died in May 1911, aged 71 years of age.

At some time between 1911 and 1915, Thomas and his family would appear to have moved to Hatton, as he appeared on the Roll of Honour at Daresbury Church, having enlisted in the Great War. His rank was Private, but it is not known what theatre of war he served in, or for how long, as his war service records do not seem to have survived. However he appeared in the absent voters lists for Hatton village in 1918 and 1919. He served in both the Cheshire Regiment (service number 54660) and the 34 Labour Corps (service number 122473) and he was awarded the British War Medal and the Victory Medal. (His brother Henry also served in the Cheshire Regiment in the Great War).

The family moved away from Hatton in 1920 and by the time of the 1939 Register they were living at 12, Wellington Road, Colwyn Bay. Thomas was a private gardener. Their son Thomas was married by then and lived in Abergele with his wife Eleanor Margaret and their three children.

Sadly, Emma Birch died in 1948 in Colwyn Bay in the Aled registration district of Denbighshire. She was 68 years of age.

Nothing is known of Thomas after Emma’s death, until he died in the West Cheshire registration district in early 1963. He was 86 years of age.