My Drummer boy

In my last post I mentioned my great-grandfather Thomas Alfred Oakes was a private with the 6th Cheshire regiment and how because of him I got my middle name.

Since then that bubble of the story I was told since I was young has been burst.

On the genealogy websites of Ancestry and Find My Past from the 11th to the 13th November there is free access to the military records. So with this opportunity I took my chance in looking for relatives and what other information I could find on them.

Originally I could not find much on Thomas, but looking over the weekend I found a Silver War badge transcription which stated Thomas did NOT serve overseas. I was a little gutted after the story I was told, but in a way relieved as if he had then who knows what would have happened. The favourite words of What if? A scenario which can be ignored as he was home, had other children and therefore cousins of mine who are alive and living life.

The part that fascinated me on the transcript was the part of occupation. I always knew he was a private. The transcript clearly stated he was a drummer. I was very happy. The reason for this happiness is that the musicality passed on from father to son. As Thomas’ father also with the same namesake was a theatre musician. For me to see the fact he was a drummer gave me a glimpse into my great grandfather’s life with questions.

Questions of:

  1. Did his father teach his son instruments?
  2. Was music a key part of Thomas Alfred Oakes childhood?
  3. Was he any good as a drummer?
  4. How many instruments could he or his father play?
  5. What music did they like or dislike?

These are questions that will never be answered of course, as there needs to be someone living to answer these which there is not. However it is nice to see how music passed on from one generation to the other.


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