Thomas James Munns was born in Suffolk and came to Chelmsford where he enlisted into the army. He landed in France in February 1915. He was killed in action in April 1916.

Thomas was born at Newmarket, Suffolk in 1897, the son of Mary Munns. She had been born in Newmarket c1869.

The 1901 census found Thomas, aged six, living with his widowed mother at the Black Bear Hotel in High Street, Newmarket. His mother was the innkeeper.

Thomas’ mother married Edwin Jupp around 1902. The couple had two daughters; Cissie Winnifred Jupp (born in 1903 in Fulham, died in 1988) and Ruby Constance Grace Jupp (born in 1906 in Newmarket, died in 1984).

In 1911 the census listed Thomas. aged 14, living with his mother, step-father and two half-sisters and ten other people at the White Hart Hotel in Newmarket. His step-father was the hotel’s proprietor, while his mother assisted him.


Private, 9th (Service) Battalion, Black Watch (Royal Highlanders)

Thomas enlisted into the army at Chelmsford and served with the 9th (Service) Battalion of the Black Watch (Royal Highlanders) which had been formed at Perth in September 1914, part of Kitchener’s army of volunteers. The battalion went to France in July 1915, though Thomas did not land there until 22nd December 1915. He was killed in action on 27th April 1916 while serving as Private S/11371.

Thomas has no known grave and is commemorated on the Loos Memorial at Dud Corner Cemetery, France, some five kilometres north-west of Lens, on the Civic Centre Memorial, Chelmsford, and by the Chelmsford Parish Great War Memorial in Chelmsford Cathedral. He was entitled to the 1914-15 Star, British War Medal, and Victory Medal.

His exact connection with Chelmsford has yet to be found.