Lance Corporal Thomas John Victor Piper
70th Bn. The Buffs (Royal East Kent Regt.)

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Rank: Lance Corporal
Regiment: The Buffs (Royal East Kent Regt.)
Unit Text: 70th Bn.
Age: 18
Date of Death: 01/06/1941
Service No: 6296536
Son of William and Arabel Piper, of Leatherhead.
Grave/Memorial Reference: Near South Boundary.
Cemetery: LEATHERHEAD (SS. MARY AND NICHOLAS) CHURCHYARD [local grave no. 459]

Inscription at foot of headstone: In the midst of life we are in death

Surrey Advertiser
Saturday 14 June 1941
"There were military honours at the funeral at Leatherhead Parish Churchyard on Wednesday of L.-Cpl. Thomas John Victor Piper, The Buffs. 18-years-old son of Mr. and Mrs. W. Piper, of Kingslea, Leatherhead, who was accidentally shot with a rifle on June 1st. Mr. and Mrs. Piper came to Leatherhead about a year ago from Woolwich and Bromley. Their son volunteered for the Army last July, when he was only 17.

A detachment of the R.A.O.C. acted as bearers at the funeral, and the coffin was covered with a Union Jack. At the graveside the Last Post was sounded by a bugler. The service was conducted by the Vicar (the Rev. G. H. B. Coleridge). There were wreaths from the officers and men of his regiment, who were also represented."

His life

Based on the newspaper report of his funeral neither Thomas Piper nor his parents had had much time in Leatherhead when he died.

His death was registered in Q2 1941, Folkestone
His birth was registered in Q2 1923, Lewisham; his mother's maiden surname was Chase.

His father, William Piper was born about 1878 in Plymouth, Devon.

His mother was usually named as Arabel but can also be found as Isabella Stanley W Chase, Arabelle Stanley Chase. She was born about 1881 in Holloway or Islington, London and died in July 1958 in Bromley.
Their marriage was registered at Croydon in the Second Quarter of 1904.

Tracking the family via the Electoral Registers ...
1938 & 1939: Bexley, Dartford: 182 Okehampton Crescent: William & Arabel 
1945 Epsom, Leatherhead Ward, 29 Kingslea: William, Arabel and Evelyn Piper

He was quite young to be a Lance Corporal.


Royal East Kent Regiment

the website editor would like to add further information on this casualty
e.g. a photo of him , and of any recollections within his family.

last updated 9 Aug 2004: 13 Feb 14: CWGC links updated 7 Nov 17: content 12 Jun 20