St Werburgh's Roman Catholic Parish, Chester

Thomas Boden

Sgt 5th Btn Cheshire Regiment 11891

Died: 24-05-1917 age 46

Thomas was born in Witton, Northwich, Cheshire, the second of the three children of Thomas and Isabella (nee Canavan) Boden. The family later moved to Chester and lived at 3 Commercial Hall. Thomas’ elder sister was Ada and his younger brother was Samuel.

Subsequently the family moved to 2 Love Street, where they ran a lodging house. Thomas senior died in 1882, age 59 and after that Isabella ran the lodging house herself, no doubt with help from her children.

Thomas Boden married Susannah Elizabeth Price Orrell in 1896. They lived at 2 Love Street the whole of their lives and three children, Harriet, Charles and Thomas were born there. The three children were baptised at St Werburgh’s but sadly Thomas died in 1903, age two years.

Thomas served in the Imperial Yeomanry during the Boer War 1899-1902. He was a corporal 32869 in the 21st Cheshire Company which was attached to the Yeomanry. He was discharged on 22 February 1902, due to lack of medical fitness, but received the Queen’s South Africa Medal, with clasps denoting action in Cape Colony, Orange Free State, Transvaal and South Africa. He then returned to Chester where he worked as a cutler from his premises at 2 Love Street. Later, in 1905 their daughter Emily was born and baptised at St Werburgh’s. Thomas’ mother, Isabella had died in 1901.

When WW1 broke out, Thomas again enlisted on 10 September 1914, serving in the 5th Btn Cheshire Regiment. He served at home during the first eighteen months but on 4 March 1916 he left for Egypt, where he stayed until 18 November 1916. He was then sent back home due to a recurrence of chronic bronchitis and was discharged as medically unfit on 1 February 1917.

He died at Chester shortly afterwards and was buried in grave G1180 at Overleigh Cemetery on 28 May 1917, Fr James of St Werburgh’s officiating. His wife Susannah was also buried there, on 8 April 1920, in grave G1182, Fr Porter of St Werburgh’s offficiating.

An obituary of Sgt Thomas Bo(w)den was printed in the June 1917 edition of St Werburgh’s Parish Magazine. His name is listed on the WW1 Memorials in the Town Hall and in St Werburgh’s Church, Chester. He was entitled to the British War Medal and the Allied Victory Medal.