Thomas joined Ilford County High School from Ilford Church School on 8th July 1901. He had just turned 13 years old and would stay at the school for two years. In September 1903, he took up a career in business.
In 1901, he was a boarder, living at 8 Oaklands Park Avenue with Arthur Young, a police constable and his family. On the school register, his guardian was named as Sarah. He was born in Notting Hill to Thomas and Sarah Pert. His father was a Shipbroker’s clerk, who unfortunately died when Thomas was six years old. At the age of two, he was living with his uncle’s family (Francis Hammond) in Leyton.
The CWGC site have recorded him as Edward Pert. He joined the West Yorkshire Regiment (Prince of Wales’s Own) E Company, 1st Batallion and was the school’s first war casualty, being killed on 26th September 1914.
In the Xmas 1914 edition of the school magazine, Chronicles, recorded, “Most but not all, of our fellows are still training in England. Some have managed to get to the front. One has made the supreme gift to his country. Private E. Pert, 1st. W. Yorks, was mortally wounded at The Battle of the Aisne, and died on September 26th. He has a soldier’s grave. His old School will give him an abiding memorial in its Hall. Would that we could expect this to be our only loss.”
His final resting place was Les Gonards Cemetery, Versailles. At the time, his mother was still alive, residing in Blackheath.
Research by Andrew Emeny, History Teacher at ICHS
ICHS school records and magazines
Commonwealth War Graves Commission
Ilford County High School started life as the Park Higher Grade School in 1901 in Balfour Road, Ilford. It was renamed Ilford County High School (or initially County High School, Ilford) in the years after the school’s management was transferred from Ilford School Board to Essex Education Committee in 1904.