The life of a Kilburn postman sent to the trenches in World War 1 penned by his granddaughter
PUBLISHED: 09:58 24 April 2020 | UPDATED: 10:00 24 April 2020
The life of a Kilburn postman who went to fight and survive World War 1 has been immortalised in a book by his granddaugter.
Tom tells the story of Thomas Lane, Christie Moore’s maternal grandfather, who was gassed in the trenches and survived the Battle of Passchendaele where so many perished.
Born in 1890 was a member of the Post Office Rifles and later lived in Portnall Road with his family until he died in 1970. His brothers and sisters lived nearby in Malvern Road.
Christie, a former pupil at Wilberforce Primary School, moved away when she was eight and currently lives in Milton Keynes.
Tom is her self-published book which took form after she started to trace her family history to see what she could find.
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“My aunty showed me a scrapbook belonging to my granddad and that’s when I saw he was in the Post Office Rifles, an early form of the Territorial Army and I saw a little hand drawn map of the trenches around Passchendeale,” she said. “I didn’t actually know he went to the Front in the First World War.
“I didn’t know he was gassed; he used to sit there and look after us when we were young and looked fit and healthy even though he was in his 70s.
I don’t know if he was gassed in the trench or over the top. Some of the book is fictional and most of it based on real events, like feeding the dogs to placate them when he was a postman.”
Tom lived in 209 Portnall Road which was bombed while the family took cover under the stairs. They survived and moved next door to 211, where I lived.
“Where the Post Office sorting office is now in Coventry Close they’ve got a plaque of people who’d served at the Front and his name’s there.
“He dreamed of playing piano in a big band. Of course he had to go to the Front like everybody else, he survived but only just and then the rest of the story is how he coped with surviving the war because his first wife and his father both died, I think of the Spanish Flu. Their death certificates state some kind of pneumonia, so it’s reminiscent of what’s happening today - a disease has come over, people have caught it and it’s quite serious.”
Available on Amazon from £3.99 on Kindle and higher in print
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