Although Thomas was born in Leicestershire, his father was from Walthamstow and his mother from Norfolk. Walter Godfrey Whittingham married Edith Mary Gordon Bensley a Solicitor’s daughter on 2nd January 1889 in Eaton St Andrews in Norfolk. In 1881 Walter was working as a Booksellers Assistant, but at the time of his marriage he was a Clerk in Holy Orders.
The couple moved to Melbourne Street in Leicester, their first child Mary, was born in 1890 and the 1891 Census shows that the couple had two servants, one was a Nurse Domestic. Thomas was born on 12th June 1893 and by 1901 Walter was a Clergyman of the Church of England and the family were living at The Vicarage, Lower Weedon in Daventry. Also living with them was Walter’s sister Evelyn who was a Governess. Their third child, Arthur was born in 1902 while they were living in Northamptonshire.
In 1904 The family moved to The Vicarage in Knighton and Walter became the Vicar of St Mary Magdalene Church as well as St Michael’s & All Angels Church. Their fourth child Robert was born in 1908.
Thomas was listed as wounded on the Casualty list by the War Office on 8/4/1915. He was Killed in Action aged 22 in France at the Hohenzollern Redoubt on 13/10/1915. As can be seen from his memorial plaque that used to hang in the church, Thomas was a Sidesman (usher or assistant churchwarden) at St Michael’s Church.
On 12/11/1915 the Northampton Mercury reported – Lieut. Whittingham who was killed in Action on October 13, was a son of the Rev. W G Whittingham formerly Vicar of Weedon. One of his fellow officers wrote of him. “He was absolutely fearless. He mounted the parapet walking stick in one hand and revolver in the other. He walked as a son of England should walk at such a time.”
He has no known grave, but is commemorated on the Loos Memorial in France. His name also appears on the War Memorial at St Mary Magdalene Church as well as on the Oxford Dragon School War Memorial where he had been educated.
His father became the Archdeacon of Oakham in 1918 and later was appointed as Bishop of St Edmundsbury and Ipswich in 1923. At the age of 79 he resigned ‘on the grounds of age’ he died at Horstead near Norwich a few months later in 1941. The newspaper reported that the Bishop had previously caused a storm when he wrote a letter staying “The number of our underfed is really extremely small and for the most part it is through their own fault because their money is uselessly spent.”