Thomas Edward Simmons was born in Cannock in 1890, the son of James and Emily Simmons. By the 1901 census, the family were living at 15 Vicarage Road, Wolverhampton, and Thomas and his parents were joined by his brothers James and William, sister Emily, and grandparents William and Mary Simmons.
Thomas joined the 3rd North Midland Brigade of the Royal Field Artillery as a Gunner, and he clearly gave a good acount of himself. An article appeared in the Express & Star on 15 February 1916, which stated that he had been “mentioned for distinguished conduct at the front”. His Major-General wrote as follows:
Your commanding officer and brigade commander have informed me that you have distinguished yourself by conspicuous bravery in the field. I have received their report with pleasure, and am bringing you under the notice of the superior authority.
By this date, his address was given as 13 Charles Street, and the article proudly stated that Thomas’s father also had two other sons serving with the colours (his mother had died in 1914.)