I am indebted to Kathleen for information on Tom’s early life and to Natalie for summarising his later life, and putting the bits together:
Tom was born at the Naval Nursing Home, Southsea on 15th March 1929.
By the time he started school the family were living in Stakes Road, Purbrook, and he attended the Council Primary School at Aldermoor Road when it opened in the Spring of 1934. He moved to Cowplain School in 1940 and as his father had not, as expected, returned from his commission in Gibraltar, Tom was proving a handful for his mum and on the advice of his then headmaster (a gentleman who also went to Africa and with whom we became very friendly) it was decided he should join the Army Technical School in Chepstow where his chosen trade was Bricklayer and Mason.
All was well until he fell during assault course training and injured his spine. As a result of this he was invalided out of the Army as their youngest pensioner. After prolonged treatment, part of which entailed wearing a plaster jacket for several months, he was fit again, except that several of his vertebrae had fused, restricting the mobility of his spine and was known as Scheurman's disease or curvature of the spine.
However, the training he had at Chepstow stood him in good stead when he applied for work with G.A. Day Limited, a Builders Merchant in North End, Portsmouth. He was there 7 years and was a Rep for the firm in 1951 when he met Natalie Williams who had returned from Bermuda to work at Days as Secretary to the Company Secretary.
They married on 4th October 1952 just before he left to work for United Africa Company (a Unilever company) in Nairobi. Natalie followed 3 months later and after a short while he was posted to Tanga in Tanganyika to avoid being called up to fight the Mau Mau. His entire time in East Africa was with Gailey and Roberts selling agricultural machinery at the beginning and electrical goods at the end. From Tanga they moved to Moshi in Tanganyika and stayed there for three years . After three months home leave he returned as relief manager and went first to Arusha in Tanganyika, then Kisumu and Kakamega in Kenya, followed by Kampala in Uganda finishing in Dar-es-Saleem, in Tanganyika. Two months home leave followed and as the next posting was to be Mombasa Tom decided to stay in the UK and got a job as a Rep for Philips Electrical and lived in Horndean. Nine years in Africa were amazing and very character forming.
After Philips, Tom and Natalie moved to Bristol with a branch of GKN installing central heating systems and it was there they had Neil (born 27,9.65) and Claire (born 6.2.67). From there he went to an electrical firm in Poole and they lived in Ferndown for 18 months before moving on to Edmundsons (Electrical Wholesalers) in Liverpool and lived in Neston on the Wirral. He moved with Edmundsons to Birmingham where they lived in Solihull and where Joy was born on 27.1.76. In 1977 he landed his 'dream job' as Chief Executive of CI(H) Limited in Salisbury, a buying group for electrical retailers and stayed there until he retired in 1994, living in Alderbury.
On retirement Tom and Natalie joined U3A in order to meet people socially and went on many outings and meetings with the group.. He was also Treasurer for a couple of the village organisations. He was very good at DIY and did all the landscaping for the garden.
Throughout his life with Natalie Tom had variable health problems. He contracted several tropical diseases whilst in Africa and on returning to the UK had various operations, including two pace-makers.