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Thomas Bate was born in 1895 in Wolverhampton, and spent his childhood in and out of the Wolverhampton Cottage Homes. He was first admitted (recorded as Thomas Bates) on 16 December 1898, as his parents were in the workhouse, and discharged back to his parents on 30 December. He was admitted twice more – 14 March 1901 (discharged 17 April) and 12 December 1901 (discharged 5 April 1902) – both times when his parents were again in the workhouse. When he was older, Thomas worked at the Weldless Steel Tube Company Ltd in Wednesfield, appearing on their roll of honour as one of their employees who had served with the colours.

Thomas served with the 9th Battalion of the King’s Own Lancashire Regiment (number 12435). He survived the war, but died in Wolverhampton in 1921 at the age of 25. The cause of death is unclear, but it may have been linked to his war service.