Thomas Charles Fletcher
Thomas Charles Fletcher was the third son of Harry Fletcher, a furniture removal foreman, and Mary Jane née Baker. He was born in Weston-super-Mare in 1899. The family moved to Cirencester, Harry's home town, probably following the death of Mary Jane in 1904. All three of Harry's sons served during the First World War: his eldest, also named Harry, was with the Gloucestershire Regiment when he was listed as missing during the summer of 1916. The Fletchers moved to Lake House, Frampton, around that time and they had a long and anxious wait for news, only learning in May 1917 that Harry (junior) had been killed on 23 July 1916. Harry Fletcher's second son, Gilbert John, remained in the UK during the war.
Few records have survived concerning Thomas' service, but he was posted to the 1st Battalion of the Duke of Cornwall's Light Infantry, which had been sent to Italy in December 1917 to help the Italian Army recover from its disastrous defeat at Caporetto, and returned to France in April 1918, at which time it is quite likely that Thomas arrived from England. This was a period of intense fighting on the Western Front, with the major battles of the Lys (where the Allies held firm) and Aisne (where the Germans drove forward, being stopped on the Marne by British counter-attacks). In the aftermath, on 20 June 1918, 5th and 31st Divisions mounted an attack east of the Nieppe Forest, to disrupt any enemy offensive, and to push the British lines away from the edge of the wood where they were an easy target for German artillery.
It may well have been during those actions that Private Thomas Charles Fletcher lost his life, recorded as 'killed in action' on 29 June 1918. Thomas was interred in the CWGC Aval Wood Military Cemetery, Vieux-Berquin, France, and his ultimate sacrifice is commemorated on the Cirencester war memorial, alongside that of his oldest brother, Harry (junior). He was posthumously awarded the British War Medal and Victory Medal, and War Gratuity of £5 was paid to his father. The Gloucester Journal recorded that Thomas had been well known as a 'Citizen boy' (another Gloucester newspaper), and had later worked as a window cleaner and chimney sweep. Despite being listed as an absent voter from Lake House in 1918, Thomas has not been remembered on Frampton's war memorial or the village hall plaque.