John Valentine Thick was born in 1883, the youngest of two children to John Thick and his wife Anna. John Sr was a plumber, and evidently moved around with his work. He was born in Surrey, Anna came from Berkshire; their older child, Grace was born in Hampshire, while John Jr was also born in Berkshire.
By the time of the 1891 census, John Sr had moved the family down to Blandford Forum in Dorset. Little more is known about his son’s early life, but by 1907, he was back in Berkshire, and married Henrietta Entwistle, who had grown up in Chelsea.
The young couple went on to have three children – John, Muriel and Margaret – and settled down in Reading, Berkshire. John, by this time, was working as a domestic gardener.
Little documentation exists relating to John’s military service. He enlisted in the Hampshire Regiment, and was assigned to the 1st Labour Company. Private Thick would have been part of the regiment’s territorial force, presumably using his gardening skills to help with the war effort.
While it is difficult to confirm the dates of his service, it seems that John had enlisted towards the end of 1916. It was early the following year that he fell ill, and was soon admitted to hospital with bronchitis. Sadly, this condition was to get the better of him, and Private Thick passed away on 8th March 1917. He was just 34 years old.
John Valentine Thick lies at rest in St Mary’s Cemetery in Taunton, Somerset.