The son of John and Fanny Claypole, Thomas was born in Chesterfield, Derbyshire, in 1896. By 1911, the family were living at No 1 Court No 4 Melbourne Street, Wolverhampton, along with Thomas’s siblings Emma, John, lfred and Henry. Thomas was a boot and shoe maker responsible for tacking insoles.
Thomas enlisted in the 2nd Battalion of the South Staffordshire Regiment (service number 9149), and rose to become a Lance Corporal. He fought in the Battle of Mons and other battles, “and the only injury of any kind that he received was that which has just resulted fatally”, according to the Wolverhampton Chronicle on 26 May 1915, which reported that he had died from wounds on the 10th Stationary Hospital, St Omer, on 17 May 1915. He is buried at the Longuenesse (St Omer) Souvenir Cemetery in France. Articles about his death also appeared in the Express & Star in May 1915, and in the Midland Counties Express on 29 May 1915.