Tuesday, 30 September 2014

Thomas Coull

The war memorial for North Uist at Clachan lists Thomas Coull, Fairfield Works as one of the casualties from the First World War. Although he is referred to as a private, it soon becomes clear that he was a civilian.

The Fairfield Works was a shipyard in Govan, Glasgow. Thomas's death certificate says he was an iron driller at the yard, living at 1269 Govan Road. He was aged 23, the son of James and Sarah-Ann Coull. Thomas died at 11.55pm on 1 June 1915, having suffered from meningitis for eight days. His death was reported by his brother Duncan.

Thomas also had a brother, Frank, who had joined the Royal Engineers. He died in military hospital at Etaples, on the northwestern coast of France, in 1919. Research into Frank Coull yielded the census return for 1901 from which the above information on Thomas was corroborated.

Frank appears in the 1901 census aged 17, a game watcher, the son of James (48) and Sarah Ann (47) and brother of Rhoda (15), William James (13) and Duncan (11) and Thomas (8). That same census also shows that Thomas was born in South Knapdale, an area in the Kintyre peninsula of Argyll. His father was born in Strath (Isle of Skye), and his mother came from Devon.

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