Varney, David Henry (known as Tom)

Age: 20
Date of birth: c1894

Parents: Charles and Mary Ann Varney
Wife: Single
Address: 39 Crompton Street

Occupation: Gardener's Labourer

David Henry Varney, who was known to his family as Tom, was born on 18th November 1894 in Blaina, a small town in the South Wales Valleys in Monmouthshire. This was also his mother, Mary Ann nee Jones, birth place.  At the time of Tom’s birth his father was a colliery worker.

Tom was one of nine children, 5 boys and 4 girls. William, Charles and Alice were older and Rina, Margaret, Greta, John and Stanley were younger.

The family moved to Warwick which is where Tom’s father Charles had been born. He was baptised on December 1st 1899 at St. Pauls’ Church, Warwick. Five of his brothers and sisters were also baptised at the same time.

On the 1901 census the family were living at 34 Queen’s Square and Tom’s father was working as a Bricklayer’s labourer.

By 1911 the family had moved to 10 Wallace Street and Tom, aged 17 was working as a Gardener’s labourer.

Kay Halford, Tom’s Great Niece writes:

“David was known to the family as Tom, no one could tell me why.  He had joined the Royal Warwickshire Regiment before the outbreak of the Great War and had been to Malta with them. The Regiment museum gave me all the information about his campaign medals, which I have proudly inherited.

There is a nephew and a niece who are alive, they are both in their late eighties. The nephew lives in Warwick and the niece in Newcastle on Tyne.  It is David’s niece Mary … who told me that there was a large framed photograph of David in his mother’s house, but there was little conversation about him.

His elder brother Charles, was born in 1890 in Blaina, Wales. He too served in the Great War . He joined The Cameronians, The Second Battalion of The Scottish Rifles. He was awarded the DCM.  His service number was 10585. He survived the war, returned to Warwick, married an Alice Oliver, they lived in Claverdon, they did not have children. Charles died in 1968 in Rugby, Warwickshire.”

Military Service

Rank & Number: Private, 2528
Regiment/Service: 2nd Battalion, Royal Warwickshire Regiment
Brigade/Division: 22nd Brigade, 7th Division
Date of death: Sunday, February 14, 1915
Cause of death/Battle: Died of wounds
Commemorated/Buried: Sailly-sur-la-Lys Churchyard, Pas de Calais
Awards: 1914-15 Star, British War Medal, Victory Medal
Commemorated locally at: St Pauls Church

This brief item appeared in the Warwick Advertiser on 17th April 1915:


  • Unlocking Warwick Research Group
  • Warwick Advertiser item courtesy of Warwickshire County Record Office
  • Photographs of David (Tom) and family information courtesy of Kay Halford – Tom’s Great Niece

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