Thomas Charles Tooth served in the army during the war, spending its early months billeted in the Chelmsford area. He died from meningitis at a military hospital in Chelmsford in March 1915, one of at least a dozen soldiers who died in an outbreak of the disease in the town in the first quarter of 1915. His body was taken home to Bletchley for burial.

Thomas was born in Banbury, Oxfordshire in 1893, the son of Thomas and Elizabeth Tooth.

In 1901 the census recorded seven year-old Thomas living with his parents and younger brother at 15 Railway Terrace in Bletchley in Buckinghamshire. His father was a railway clerk.

During the First World War Thomas joined the army at Bletchley and served as Private 2427 in the Oxford and Bucks Light Infantry, which was billeted in the Chelmsford area during the war's early months.

On Saturday 27th February 1915 Thomas was on duty as one of the regimental police, but not feel well the following day and was taken to a special hospital 'Kenilworth' in Moulsham Street, Chelmsford on the Monday. He died in the early hours of Thursday 4th March 1915 from cerebro-spinal meningitis, aged 21. The disease caused more than a dozen deaths, the majority military, in Chelmsford in early 1915.


Private, Oxford and Bucks Light Infantry

At the time of his death Thomas' parents were still living at 15 Railway Terrace in Bletchley. His body was taken to the town for burial andThomas lies in grave OC 7BB at Bletchley Cemetery.

The military victims of the 1915 outbreak of cerebro-spinal meningitis  in Chelmsford included:

Harold Leach - 24th January 1915

Charles William Giles - 25th January 1915

Ernest Stone - 8th February 1915

Frederick Sims - 11th February 1915

Bertie Ames - 17th February 1915

William Ernest Bruton - 17th February 1915

Henry Gilbert Edmondson - 19th February 1915

William Andrew - 20th February 1915

Frederick James Andrewartha - 26th February 1916

Thomas Charles Tooth - 4th March 1915

Walter Ernest Harris - 22nd March 1915

Samuel Herbert Bolton - 25th March 1915