Thomas was originally born in Northumberland in around 1880, the son of Thomas and Margaret Appleby. By 1911, he was a border in the home of Sarah Ann Thurman at 40 Thornley Street, Wolverhampton. He appears to have been a “Kinematograph Bill Inspector”. In 1914, he married Sophia A. Taylor in Wolverhampton. The couple had three children – Iris, Thomas A. and Vera – between 1914 and 1918.
Thomas enlisted as a Gunner in the Royal Field Artillery (service number 147898). He died in hospital on 22 April 1918 in Alexandria, Egypt. His address when he died was 107 Alma Street, Heath Town. The value of his effects was £370 8s. 10d. He is buried at Alexandria (Hadra) War Memorial Cemetery.