Private Thomas Luck



Thomas Luck was born on 21 December 1898 in Ratcliffe, London, the fifth of six children of dock labourer Charles Luck and his wife Catherine (née O'Brien). At the time of the 1911 Census he was living at 51 Brook Street, Ratcliffe, with his mother and two of his siblings. Although all are recorded as being born in London, the Census records their nationality as Irish.

Luck enlisted or was called up at Stratford on 29 March 1917. He was posted to the North Irish Horse between 23 June and 2 July 1917 (No.2530 – later Corps of Hussars No.71880). He was described as being 5' 2½" tall with a pale complexion, dark hair and grey eyes. He gave his occupation as a carman.

He trained at the regiment's reserve base at Antrim, but was reported to have deserted on 6 November 1917. He must have returned or been apprehended soon after, for in January 1918 he embarked for Egypt with a draft of North Irish Horsemen from the regimental reserve depot at Antrim. There he was attached to the 1/1st Nottinghamshire Yeomanry (Sherwood Rangers), serving with that regiment in the Palestine campaign. Records show that in December 1918 he was hospitalised, suffering from malaria.

On 7 October 1919 at Dublin he faced a court martial charged with 'escaping from confinement'. He was sentenced to 28 days' detention.

After the war Luck returned to London, where he married Clara Sullivan in 1920. At the time of the 1939 Register the couple were living at 13 Drivers Buildings, Tower Hamlets, Stepney, with four children, Thomas working as a wharf labourer. He died at London's St Andrews Hospital on 11 December 1964.


Both of Luck's brothers served in the war. Rifleman Charles Luck of the London Regiment (No.318243) was killed in action on 28 March 1918 and is commemorated at the Arras Memorial. Driver William Luck served with the Royal Field Artillery (No.52791) from 1914 until the end of the war. He re-enlisted, as a sapper in the Royal Engineers (No.1026164) at the beginning of the Second World War, serving in No.5 Bomb Disposal Company. On 11 September 1940 he was killed "while excavating an enemy time bomb". He is buried in the Edenbridge Cemetery.


Image sourced from Public Member Trees – contributor 'oscarlouis'.


This page last updated 18 January 2024.