Thomas Smith

"Grandpa Tom", was born in Toxteth, Liverpool. His father was Robert Smith, a stonemason and his mother was Sarah Smith (née Jones). (See Ancestors). Tom's was married to Isabella "Ma Belle" Smith (née Hayward). Their children were Isabel Marjorie, Audrey Irene, Thomas Arnold, Cyril Allan, Joyce, Pamela Edith and Sheelah. Grandpa Tom died in 1953.

Tom was a bookkeeper, stationer's manager, and eventually opened his own printing and stationery company. Tom joined the Masons in 1913 and was an active member until his emigration to the US in the late 1940s. Tom was also an amateur magician and vaudevillian.

There is not much known about Tom's earlier life. He married Isabella Smith, "Grandma Belle", in 1911 when he was 29 and she was just 19. The marriage was held at St. Michael's Church in the Parish of St. Michael, Toxteth Park, Lancashire on July 17, 1911. Tom was a bookkeeper at the time and lived at 56, Arlington Street, Toxteth Park, Liverpool. Belle also lived at 56, Arlington Street.

Tom joined a local Masonic lodge in 1913 and remained as an active member through the rest of his life in the UK. On June 18, 1947 at Liverpool's Cross Keys Hotel, Tom was promoted to the rank of Past Assistant Grand Director of Ceremonies in the Grand Lodge of England.

He joined the Royal Marines and likely would have seen active service during WWI. However, tracking down his service record has been impossible. To have the name "Tommy Smith" in the UK armed forces was the John Doe/Joe Bloggs equivalent at the time. German soldiers always referred to British soldiers as Tommies". Some photographs exist which indicate ex-colleagues he may have served with in the Marines.

Bill Pyke: "It is an old family story that my mother, Audrey, always repeated that the line that "Grandpa Tom was in the Royal Marines" during every years FA Cup Final when the band of the Royal Marines marched on the Wembley turf during the half-time interval. As children we got tired of the story and wound our mother up by chanting the line, "Grandpa Tom was in the Royal Marines", to the tune of a Souza march.

By all accounts he was a difficult but very amusing person. He was typical of the men of the day with strongly chauvinist tendencies. Tom was also a great music hall person. Numerous photographs are autographed by notable names of the day. He wrote sheet music, and routines for music hall shows, which were very popular at the time. He became involved in the printing business in Liverpool and had a thriving business in the mid-war period. His Masonic links did him no harm at all!

Tom and Belle emigrated to the US in the late 1940s sponsored by Aunt Pam Foster's husband Bill Foster. Most of their time was spent with relatives in New England and they lived for a time in Yardley, Pennsylvania.

Tom was diagnosed with "cancer" or "renal disease" in the early 1950's and decided to end his life in 1953. He left a note, which reads:
"Belle Dear, Do not mourn for me. You have been a wonderful wife. I am sure that May will comfort you, and also the family. Good bye dearest, it is better this way. Fondest-love. Tom".
(May was May Levy, a close friend of Belle's at the time). On Tom's death certificate it notes that he had 'renal disease' which may have been mistakenly called cancer by family members.

Tom Smith's Free Mason history:
Antient Briton Lodge No. 16775: Initiated February 1913; Worshipful Master January 1932
West Lancashire Masonic Bowling Tournament: Founder 1934
West Lancashire Hamer Benevolent Institution: Elected Honorable Secretary 1937
Appointed Past Prov. Senior Grand Deacon 1938
Appointed Past Prov. Junior Grand Wardon 1943
Walton Priory Lodge No. 5992: Founder November 1944; Worshipful Master February 1947
Chapter of Liverpool No. 292: M.E.Z March 1945

The Children of Tom & Belle

(Our Dads, Moms, Aunts, Uncles)

Isabel Marjorie & Audrey Irene

Thomas Arnald & Joyce "Wendy'

Cyril Allan & Pamela Edith

Sheelagh Patricia