Market Lavington Museum

Searching for Tom Reid

Artefacts in our museum should have a connection to Market Lavington and Easterton. Collecting the information for our blog posts often involves a certain amount of research to ensure that our information is factually correct. That was certainly the case with preparing to share today’s item – a photograph of Tom Reid.

Our records state that this young man was the son of Hester Reid, whose maiden name was Gye. The Gye family have been Market Lavington residents for many years. (Our museum founder, Peggy Gye, had married into this family herself.) Tom’s mother, Hester, was the oldest of the nine children of James and Mary Ann Gye.

Our records state that Hester’s son, Tom, was killed in the first world war. The roll of honour with the names of men from Market Lavington serving in His Majesty’s naval and military forces, did not include a mention of Tom Reid, but it was dated 1914, so we thought that maybe Tom joined up later.

A short walk outside to the war memorial in St Mary’s churchyard provided the opportunity to check the names of local casualties – no mention of Tom Reid. But maybe he lived in Easterton, or had moved to a nearby town or village before he joined up. That led to consulting Richard Broadhead’s book on the Devizes and District Soldiers in the Great War. Daunted by checking through over 300 pages of information organised in date of death order, with no index of surnames, checking on our museum blog seemed an easier approach.

Aha! Hester Gye, though spending her childhood in Market Lavington, had moved away and married Tom Reid and they called the oldest of their four children Tom, the subject of our photograph. So, this artefact has a rather tenuous link to the village, the home of his grandparents and one time home of his mother.