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Mr Thomas Fairclough

08 December 1878 - 11 March 1959

Resident of The Royal Star & Garter Homes, Richmond, August 1919 – March 1959

Thomas Fairclough worked as a lamplighter for Liverpool Corporation before enlisting, aged 36, in November 1915. Sent to France with the 1st Battalion Irish Guards in March 1918, Thomas survived a gunshot wound to the face in April before being severely wounded in June 1918 and brought home to the Great Western Hospital in Manchester. On his discharge from the Army in August 1919, he was brought to Richmond, which remained his home for the next 40 years. Thomas joined the Home only three years after it was established in 1916 at the instigation of Queen Mary to look after severely injured soldiers returning from war.

On 12 November 1958, Thomas was specially presented to Her Royal Highness Queen Elizabeth as the oldest and ‘longest’ resident of the Home, during Her Majesty’s first Royal visit as patron of the Charity.

A letter from the Home to the RHQ Irish Guards, informing them of his death in March 1959, concluded with the words: ‘He had for some time been the longest patient in the Home. He will be very much missed here.’

His great-grandson Marc Fairclough, together with a group of friends and colleagues, fundraised in memory of Thomas by entering the Yorkshire Three Peaks Challenge in August 2012. The funds raised were divided between The Royal Star & Garter Homes and a children’s cancer charity.