© Helvellyn Consulting 2023
Private Tom Little
44611, "B" Coy. 1st Bn., South Wales Borderers
Born 1896, Barrow in Furness. Died 10th November 1917 aged 21 at the 2nd Battle at Passchendaele.
Son of Thomas Royal Little, and Elizabeth Ann Little, of Goldrill House, and Daweswood Patterdale
Thomas Little (Tom) was born in 1896 in Barrow in Furness. His father Thomas was a consulting engineer and his mother Elizabeth was an architect. In 1911 the family were living in Ainsdale Lancashire. Alongside Tom were his younger brother Charles (born 1898), and sisters Elizabeth Ann (born 1900) and Dorothy Irene (born 1903).
We’re not sure why Tom ended up in the South Wales Borderers, and sadly all we know of his war service is that he died on the 10th November 1917 at the Second Battle of Passchendaele in Belgium. He is buried at the Passchendaele New British Cemetery.
We believe that Tom’s parents bought Goldrill House (what is now the Patterdale YHA) as a holiday house and whilst they owned this we think that they commissioned Daweswood, which they moved in to after the end of World War One. This would explain why Tom is not listed on either the Glenridding Village Hall Roll of Honour or the Patterdale War memorial, as his parents only had a holiday home in the village until after the war. We do know that Daweswood was requisitioned by the War Office during the war and used as a convalescence home -
We do know that his parents remained at Daweswood until their deaths. His mother Elizabeth died on the 4th September 1930 aged 59 -
In 2017 we were contacted by Tony Little, whose father was a cousin of Tom. He was able to provide some additional information on Tom’s siblings following his own research.
“Dorothy did …. marry the Rev Geoffrey Michael Longsdon and they lived in Caterham (Church of St John the Evangelist) until 1960. Geoffrey died on 12 March 1963 in Oborne, Dorset and Dorothy died on February 1985 in Yeovil, Somerset. They had 3 children, Joan, Elizabeth and Mary. Tom's brother Charles Henry, married Muriel Gilbert in 1948. I don't believe they had any children together, although Muriel had a family from a previous marriage. He died in 1959 in Liverpool.”
If you have any further information please let us know.
Feb 2018 Update
Daweswood, the Little family home after the war, was used by the War Office throughout World War One
Tom’s Family Gravestone in Patterdale Churchyard, with his parents and sister.
The stained glass window dedicated to Tom’s mother Elizabeth in St Patrick’s Church Patterdale. The inscription reads
“In gratitude to God for the life and joyous memory of Elizabeth Ann Little wife of Thomas R. Little of Daweswood who died 4th September 1930, aged 59 years.”
The photo above was taken in the Dale in the 1950s and shows members of the local WRVS training for possible Cold War fuel shortages. The lady at the front looking directly at the camera with her arms raised is Elizabeth Little, Tom’s sister.
These carvings were discovered by John Davies-
The top two are clearly the initials of Tom’s parents, Thomas Royal and Elizabeth Ann, and we believe the ones below are for Tom’s sisters, Elizabeth “Betty” Little, and Dorothy Irene.
It would be wonderful to find one for Tom himself….