Into the Abyss with Thomas Hutchings Estall


In 1911, a quiet soldier named Thomas Estall (nee Hutchings) died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound in Cairo. At the inquest, his Colour Sergeant reported that Thomas ‘spoke like a man who was hardly done by’. This is the story of the disintegration of a silk-weaving family from the East End of London through Victorian times, Thomas having been born in the Bethnal Green Workhouse in 1889. As he bore the loss of his parents and then spent his teenage years witnessing the deaths, adoptions and child migration of his young siblings, his tragic ending can come as no surprise.

Case Study Migration Military Poor