Thomas Ford was born on 1st February 1886 in Ringmer, East Sussex. His birth is registered at Lewes. Thomas appears in the 1891 Census as a 5 year old. He is living at the family home in Bishops Lane, Ringmer, East Sussex along with his parents and siblings.
Thomas appears to be the second child of John and Eliza Ford. His father was a Bricklayer. John Ford and Eliza Stoner married in the Lewes registration area in 1882. Thomas has one elder sister, Eliza, an elder brother John and a younger brother Joseph.
The 1901 Census finds the family complete. They are all living in the same house in Bishops Lane, Ringmer, East Sussex. John, the father is now a Foreman Bricklayer. There are now 8 children. Tom has 3 more sisters Edith, Harriet and Ellen along with one more brother Ernest. Thomas is a Bricklayers Labourer.
The 1911 census shows that the family has started to fly the nest. Only 3 children John, Ernest and Ellen remain at home.
Thomas is living with his sister Eliza and her husband at 123 Gloucester Road, Brighton. Thomas Joined Brighton Borough Police on 16th November 1910 with George Hemsley and George Chisnall. Thomas is now 25 years of age.
On 11th August 1917 Thomas Ford married Grace Lintott. Thomas is shown on the wedding certificate as 31 years of age, a bachelor, Police Officer (Sussex Yeomanry).
Grace Lintott is the younger sister of PC Richard Lintott MM. Grace is 23 years old, a spinster living at Fisher Lane, Chiddingfold.
Thomas Ford appears on both WW1 Plaques within The Old Police Museum Cells at Brighton. He is shown to be with The Sussex Yeomanry as well as the Warwickshire Regiment.
Sydney Barrow received permission from Chief Constable William Gentle to join the Army from the then Chief Constable Mr. William Gentle on 19th May 1915. He left the Police on the same day as Herbert Boxall, Sidney Barrow, Ernest Griggs, Henry Hayter, Charles Moorey and George Sutton.
No information of any certainty has been forthcoming with regards to Thomas’ military career apart from his wedding certificate which shows him as a Police Officer (Sussex Yeomanry) in 1917.
The Chief Constable William Gentle reported to the Brighton Police Watch Committee that Thomas Ford had reported back for Police duties on 13th February 1919 along with Charles Moorey and George Hibbs.
No information with regards to The Royal Warwickshire Regiment or any awards he may have received have been found.
It is known that Thomas Ford was a member of the Brighton Borough Police after the war.
The question that is to remain unanswered at present is “What happened to Thomas Ford during the war years? Did he go to war? Or “Did he remain with Brighton Police and at home with the Sussex Yeomanry? There is no trace of him within the Military Police.
The 1939 Register is our next insight to Thomas and Grace. They are both living at 17 Dale Crescent, Brighton. Thomas’ date of birth is shown as 1st February 1886. He is a retired Police Officer. Grace is born on 4th August 1894. There is no trace of any children being born.
Thomas Ford died aged 70 years on 30th June 1956 at the Brighton General Hospital, Brighton. Probate as seen below was awarded to his Widow.
Grace survived her husband by another 17 years. She died on 5th October 1973 in Surrey.
The frustration of not having any Army records.