Thanks to a very generous grant from the National Lottery Heritage Fund, we can restore the “at risk” spire of our beautiful building and explore the rich heritage of our church and its community.

Thomas Gabbitas

Thomas Gabbitas

‘They told me that my brother had got killed and I would not believe it. Do not grieve; he did not know any pain. He has died a hero’s death.’

Private Fred Gabbitas, Thomas’s brother, who served in the same Battalion, on hearing the news of his brother’s death in 1917.

Thomas Gabbitas was born in Worksop in 1893 to Frederick and Caroline Gabbitas. His parents married in 1878 and had a large family over the next thirty years with fourteen children born, but only eight surviving beyond childhood. The family home was in Worksop at 2 Dock Road, Gregg’s Buildings.

Three of Thomas’s brothers also enlisted, Fred, Robert, and Wilfred, and so joined the over five million men who fought in the war. Like many of his generation, Wilfred first enlisted underage at the age of 15 and then enlisted again when his parents obtained his discharge.

Thanks to a very generous grant from the National Lottery Heritage Fund, we can restore the “at risk” spire of our beautiful building and explore the rich heritage of our church and its community.

Before joining the army, Thomas worked as a drayman, a driver of a horse pulled wagon, at the Home Brewery Stores in Potter Street. In 1915 he enlisted in the army in the Notts and Derby Sherwood Forresters, one of the ’Pals’ regiments set up for men in a locality to join up together.

Thomas saw service first in Ireland and then after nine months in France. The last time he was home was in December 1916 when he was given leave. He returned to the western front and was killed on 26th September 1917 at the age of 24.

He was known by his Commanding Officers to be a smart and capable man and a gallant soldier and was promoted to Lance Sergeant while serving.

He was buried in the Tyne Cot memorial in Ypres Salient in Belgium, the largest cemetery for commonwealth forces anywhere in the world and is commemorated in the St. John’s War Memorial and the Town Cenotaph.

With our thanks to Karen Armstrong, great niece of Thomas Gabbitas.

Thanks to a very generous grant from the National Lottery Heritage Fund, we can restore the “at risk” spire of our beautiful building and explore the rich heritage of our church and its community.