Thomas Charles Gowan Maclure was born in Wales, the son of a farmer, and arrived in the Chelmsford area when he was about ten years old, living near Blackmore. He worked in London as a stockbroker’s clerk before taking up pig farming early in 1915 and living at Elms Farm in Widford. After appealing for exemption to join the army he was given a two month postponement at a tribunal in March 1916. The following month he married and in May 1916 he joined the army. He went to France at the end of May 1917 and had only been there a few days when fatally wounded in June 1917.
Thomas was born in 1886 in Brynaing, Newtown, Montgomeryshire, Wales, the youngest son of the farmer Peter Houston Maclure (1839-1896) and Jane Maclure (nee Rodger) (1842-1914). Both parents were born in Scotland and had married in Manchester in 1866.
Thomas' known siblings were: Maggie Maclure (born in 1867), Mary Maclure (born in 1869), Jeannie Maclure (born in 1871), John Maclure (born in 1872), Jessie Maclure (born in 1873), Lily Maclure (1875-1945), Edward Maclure (1875-1927), William Maclure (born in 1877), Peter Maclure (1880-1946), Nellie Maclure (1882-1943), and Violet Maclure (1884-1949). The first child was born in Manchester, the second in Doncaster, the next five in Manchester, and the remaining five in Newtown, Montgomeryshire.
In 1891 Thomas was recorded by the census, aged four, living with his parents, nine older siblings and a servant at Court Farm, Wolverton in Warwickshire. His father was a farmer.
By 1893 the family had moved to Essex to take over the tenancy of Howlett’s Hall near Blackmore. 1898 saw the death of Thomas’ father, aged 59.
The 1901 census found Thomas aged 14, the youngest of eight children living with Thomas' widowed mother at Howletts Hall in Blackmore.
In 1911 the census found 24 year-old Thomas with his mother and four elder siblings at Howletts Hall. He was stockbroker's clerk for the London firm Messrs. Erskine, Neville and Co. He was to work there for nine years. In 1914 Thomas' mother died and his brother Peter took over Howlett's Hall.
In early 1915 Thomas took up farming, going into partnership with Mr. McGowan at Elms Farm in London Road, Widford - opposite Hylands Park.
MACLURE, THOMAS CHARLES GOWAN,
Gunner, 45th Siege Battery, Royal Garrison Artillery
In May 1916 Thomas joined the Royal Garrison Artillery. After training in England he went to France in May 1917 as Gunner 340178 in the Artillery's 45th Siege Battery. He had only been at the Front a few days when he was wounded. He died as a result on 10th June 1917 at the 9th Australian Field Ambulance, aged 30.
He was later buried at Pont-D'Achelles Military Cemetery in Nieppe (grave II. A. 4.).
Thomas left an estate valued at £624 3s. 2d. He is commemorated on the Widford War Memorial at St. Mary's Church.
In 1920 Thomas' widow married Cyril J. Saunders in Dovercourt.
Howlett Hall remains in the Maclure family's occupancy to this day.