Account of Thomas Littlefair's funeral in Staindrop.
Thomas was born in 1890 to Thomas and Anna Littlefair. He had an older sister called Rose Anne and a younger brother called George Harlan. The 1911 Census show the family living at Raby West Farm, Staindrop, and gives Thomas' occupation as a farm worker.
Thomas was married with family. See Teesdale Mercury, 13 June 1951: Death of well known farmer.
Thomas enlisted on 10.12.1915 in Sunderland at the age of 25 years 9 months and joined the Army Reserve, Class B. He was mobilised on 7.4.1916 and posted to the Royal Garrison Artillery (R.G.A.) No 4 Depot in Great Yarmouth. From 7.4.1916 to 7.7.1917 he was with the Home Br. (Brigade?), including as a Gunner with the R.G.A 18 Company from 25.4.1916, and a Gunner, Heavy Battery from 9.9.1916. From 8.7.1917 he fought with the British Expeditionary Force in France with the R.G.A 288th Siege Battery. He was CB (Confined to Barracks?) for a few days on two occasions during the summer of 1917, once for being later on parade and once for overstaying his leave. He was transferred to the Field on 29.7.1917 and granted professional pay from 4.12.1917. From 22.1.1918 - 5.2.1918, he was on leave to the UK. Thomas had a spell in hospital in the Field from 21.6.1918, rejoining his unit on 4.7.1918. No reason is given for his hospitalisation but there is no mention of injuries or disability in his records. On 5.10.1918 he qualified as, and became, a Signaller, 1st Class. Another period of leave to the UK followed from 19.1.1919 - 2.2.1919 and on returning to France he was posted to R.G.A. 297th Siege Battery. Thomas left the Field on 27.3.1919 and was sent for release to the Dispersal Centre at Ripon on 4.4 1919. His discharge papers are dated 31.3.1920.
After the war, according to the report of his funeral in the Teesdale Mercury, 13 June 1951, Thomas farmed Raby Home Farm for 26 years also acting as Lord Barnard's bailiff. Four years before his death he started farming on his own account at Hilton Hall, near Gainford.