Tom Garmory (1893-1940), relative of Kay Chadwick

Tom GarmoryThomas McGuffog Garmory, known as Tom, was born in Kirkcudbright, Scotland in 1893. He was the fourth of seven children, five boys and two girls. He is my first cousin, twice removed, and part of my extensive Scottish family. On leaving school, Tom served an apprenticeship with a local grocer, Mr Dalziel. In 1915, at the age of 22, he left his job and enlisted on 2 June as a Private in the 17th Highland Light Infantry. He was sent to France in November 1915, and was wounded at the Battle of the Somme on 1 July 1916. Once recovered, he transferred to the 8th York & Lancaster Regiment and returned to the battlefields in France, first as a Corporal, before being promoted to Sergeant. By 1918, he was in Italy, where he fought in the Battle of Asiago on 15-16 June 1918. His actions here earned him the Distinguished Conduct Medal for Conspicuous Gallantry, as his citation explains:

“For a long period during operations he was responsible for guiding ration parties to their destination each night, and in spite of very heavy hostile shelling, he succeeded in getting all rations and stores through. On many occasions he went out alone to find lost parties, and always showed a complete disregard of personal danger.”

Tom survived the war, and returned home to Scotland, where he married Helen Slavin in 1923. They had seven children, four of whom are still living (as of November 2013). But Tom himself died young at the age of 47 in 1940. I do not know if his death was related to war injury or trauma. But it is a possibility, since the psychological and physical impact of the First World War stretched far beyond the end of the fighting in 1918. The photograph is a little faded, but, even so, I can clearly see my mother in him.

Tom Garmory, b. Kirkcudbright, 1893, d. Dalziel, 1940, Sergeant, 8th York & Lancaster Regiment, is the relative of Dr Kay Chadwick, Reader in French Historical Studies, CLAS.

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