Thomas Gaul was born at Everton in 1873, the son of Thomas Gaul and Ann (nee Richardson). His father was a shipís cook and steward and was born at Liverpool, whilst his mother was born in Cheshire and was the widow of Thomas Moore when she married Thomas Gaul senior at St.Johnís C.of E. Church, Liverpool in 1861.
Thomas had a brother, Edward, born in 1862 and a sister, Esther, born in 1866. Esther was baptised at St.Josephís R.C. Church, Liverpool in 1870.
Thomas enlisted in the army at Liverpool on the 24th August 1891, aged eighteen. He was 5ft 4 inches tall and weighed 124lbs at the time and had a fresh complexion, brown eyes and dark brown hair. He was working as a printer and his religion was Church of England. He gave his next of kin as his mother, Ann, and brother, Edward, of 18 Stitt Street, Liverpool.
He served with the 2nd battalion South Lancashire Regiment (service no 3504) for the next twelve years.
He was first posted overseas - to Egypt - on the 15th March 1893 where he spent almost two years. He was transferred to India on the 19th February 1895. Just over four years later he returned to the UK and was immediately transferred to the army reserve on the 8th March 1899.
When the Boer War broke out Thomas was recalled to the colours on the 13th November 1899 and embarked for South Africa a fortnight later on the 29th November.
Whilst in South Africa Thomas Gaul earned a number of campaign medals:-
He arrived back in England on the 27th August 1902 and was finally discharged from the Army on the 23rd August 1903, after which he spent a further four years in the army reserve.
On the 1st October 1902 Thomas married Bridget Morgan at St.Paulís C.of E. Church, Kirkdale. He and his wife had three children - Anne, John and Edward. Edward died in 1915 whilst his father was on active service.
At the time of the 1911 census the Gaul family were living at 16 Wolsey Street, Kirkdale and Thomas was working as a railway porter.
He was living at 18 Sheridan Place off Derby Road, Bootle when he re-enlisted in the South Lancashire Regiment (service no 2267) on the 20th August 1914, at the age of 41. His service records have survived. They show he was 5ft 5 inches tall, weighed 127lbs, with dark brown eyes, brown hair and had a couple of tattoos.
His second army career was as eventful as his first. On the 25th November 1915 he was appointed Lance Corporal and was posted overseas on the 5th December. He was reduced to Private in June 1915 for drunkenness and on the 7th September 1915 he was transferred to the Royal Engineers with the rank of Corporal.
Shortly afterwards, on the 25th September 1915, he was gassed and wounded for the first time. On the 5th October 1916 he was again gassed and wounded.
Thomas was promoted to Sergeant in June 1917 and was killed in action on 21st March 1918.
His wife received a pension of 27s 11d per week for herself and her two surviving children.