Private 49852, 1st/17th Battalion King’s (Liverpool Regiment)
Died 20th September 1917, aged 31
Remembered at Tyne Cot Memorial
& on both Blakeney War Memorials
Thomas was baptised in Blakeney Church, 26th September 1886, as Tom Robert Du Verge Lane while rather unusually his birth was registered in the September Quarter, 1886, first as Robert then again as John Robert Du V. Lane. Blakeney School Admissions Register makes it clear that his name had settled as Thomas and gives his birth as 28th May 1886. He was the son of a baker, Thomas Lane and his wife Anne Elizabeth Gravelling who were born in North Walsham 1857 and Thornage 1856 respectively and were married in London, 1882.
His siblings, all born in Blakeney, were Cyril Hawkins Leopold, Sarah Laura, Reuben and Groom Sendall. After the death of their father in 1900 at the age of 42, the family went in different directions. By 1911, his mother was working in a boarding house in Cley; Sarah and Groom were living with their grandfather James Hawkins, a retired draper, at Wye House, High Street, Blakeney; Cyril had disappeared and Reuben was a draper’s assistant working for Pullman and Son in Nottingham. Thomas, aged 24, was living on his own in the High Street, Blakeney, working as a groom. The Census places him in a cottage on the west side of the High Street, two doors to the south of Sugar Plum Cottage.
There are no Service Records for Thomas, only that he enlisted at Cromer and was killed in action from his listing in “Soldiers Died in the Great War, 1914-1919”. The 20th September was the beginning of the Second Army’s attack on the Menin Road Ridge that was led by General Plumer. This was the first of four initial attacks that paved the way towards the final assault on Passchendaele and is possibly where Thomas lost his life. He is remembered on the “Curved Memorial to the Missing” at Tyne Cot Cemetery, Belgium where he is numbered amongst the 35,000 officers and soldiers who have no known grave.
His brothers, Cyril and Groom, served in the Royal Naval Volunteer Reserve (RNVR) and both survived.