The picture above is of my great great grandparents, John and Mary Stacey, and probably their 4 youngest children.
Their youngest son George was born in 1882 so that would date this photograph mid to late 1880s.
I will start my thoughts with John and Mary who are the maternal branch of my family.

Friday, 16 March 2012

Thomas Joseph Tirrell

Thomas was the eldest son of Joseph and Olive (Scraggs) Tirrell who I wrote about yesterday. Thomas was born in 1910 in the Rotherham area.

I found this photograph in my late mother's belongings last year when I was in Australia.  I don't remember ever seeing it before and neither did my brother.  There is nothing written on the back of it to tell us who it is.  When I cam home I sent a copy to my mum's sister, auntie Joan, to see if she knew.   She immediately recognised it as her cousin Tommy Tirrell and told me he was a soldier who had received medals in World War II.

A search in the Times Archive found the following awards which he received during the war.  The fuller details are published in the London Gazette.

August 27 1940:  Battery Sergeant Major Thomas Joseph Tirrell, 2 Regiment Royal Horse Artillery.  British expeditionary force.  Distinguished Conduct Medal

Feb 10 1943:  Lieutenant Thomas Joseph Tirrell, 1 Regiment Royal Horse Artillery, Middle East Campaign (Egypt & Libia)  Military Cross.  Also Bar to Military Cross.

Apr 14 1945: Temporary Major Thomas Joseph Tirrell, 3 Regiment Royal Horse Artillery, for gallantry in North West Europe, second Bar to Military Cross.

So obviously a very able soldier who was well decorated.

As for his bride in this picture, I can only find one marriage of a Thomas J Tirrell to Brenda Bowers which was in the September quarter of 1939 in Eastry, Kent.  Maybe he was stationed there and they married before he went away to war.  I have found a record of one child born in 1941.  When Tommy received his Military Cross  he was living in Deal, Kent so I think maybe this was his marriage.   So far I have been unable to find a death record for Tommy.


  1. Just seeing your lovely photos makes me swoon!

    So very interesting.......
    Thank you so much for sharing with us.......

    Have a lovely day!

  2. I felt compelled to go searching too, Sheila. I thought if I found Brenda's death it may give a clue. She may have died in Wales. Nothing found for him though. Maybe he lived to beyond 2005? Lovely photo of the marriage. Lovely uniform.

  3. I have found a death for a Brenda Tirrell in Denbigh Wales in 2000, she was born in 1919 so a possible.

  4. Hi Sheila, I am Tara Quin, Tommy's grandaughter (or Jack as he was known). He and my grandmother had 2 girls. Janet in 1941 and Barbara in 1944. Janet was a radiographer and lived in Deal all her life. She died about 4 years ago. Mummy followed in Grandpa's footsteps and was in the Army for a while...Queen Alexandra Royal Nursing Corps. She married my father Patrick Quin and had me and my sister. She sadly died of lung cancer in 1989.
    After the war, Grandpa worked in Jordan as some kind of military advisor to the Jordanian Army. He moved to Kinmel camp near Rhyl and stayed there when he retired from the army. He was a jockey and raced for the army too. I have a photo I will send you. He loved horses and ran a horse society with a big annual show. I used to go up and compete every year as a child. I am still riding now. Mind you he couldn't pick a winner in a one horse race! He was also a keen fisherman and shot.
    He wasn't just an able soldier, he was an awesome soldier (I may be biassed) I have just got his medal citations from the national archives, which I will send you. They make most exciting reading.
    He and my grandmother remained married until Grandpa's death in 1994 (not that happily it must be said!) Grandma managed to see in the new millenium.
    He was an amazing man, amazing solder and a fabulous Grandpa.
    Please let me know where I can send these pics and documents. I don't have that many photos with me as I live in Qatar and my dad has the rest in Kent.

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  5. Hi, I am Tara Quin, Tommy's (or Jack as he was known) grandaughter. My grandparents had 2 girls, Janet in 1941 and Barbara, my mother, in 1944. Janet was a radiographer and lived in Deal until her death 4 years ago. Mummy was a Queen Alex Royal Nursing Corps nurse when she was young and she married my father in 1974. I am oldest of 2 girls. Mummy died of lung cancer in 1989.
    Grandpa was not just an able soldier he was a great soldier. I have his medal citations, they make exciting reading. I can send them to you.
    He was also a jockey and raced for the Army. He loved horses and ran a horse society with a big annual show in North Wales. He put me on a horse very young and I am still riding today. He also played do I-Still. I am a definite Tirrell!
    After the war, he was some kind of military adviser in Jordan and ended up moving to Kinmel Camp near Rhyl. They lived in Rhyl until Grandpa died in 1995. Grandma died in Denbigh in 2000 as you discovered. They were married all that time although not quite happily!!
    I don't know much about Grandpa's family aprt from the chap who grew tomatoes on an industrial scale!
    I now live in Qatar (a nobble on the edge of Saudi Arabia!)My sister Nicola lives in Deal and has 1 son, Jake. Janet had no children.
    I hope this is interesting for you! Let me know where I can send photos and such.