A note to begin with: William isn’t my Tommy. But his story is interesting, and draws on wartime experience not often focused upon, so here is his story.
Lance Bombardier William Horace Kitt was born on December 17 1895 in Plymouth, the eldest son of 11 children of William and Lavinia Kitt. William was a baker and confectioner, and the family can be found in Flora Street and later in Beaumont Street in Plymouth in the 1901 and 1911 censuses respectively. In 1911, William was 16 and like his 14 year old brother Henry, he was a printer’s apprentice. His service records state his employer as the Mercury Newspapers, and that he was eventually a Linotype operator. He also says he is Catholic, though later it says C of E, so I’m not sure which is correct. Having researched the Mercury Newspapers, I believe this to be the Western Daily Mercury which was published in Plymouth every day (except Sunday) between 1860 and 1921, when it merged with the neighbouring paper for the Western Counties. William fudged his age a little in 1912 and signed up for the Territorials claiming to be 18. His service records show he came clean a few years later and he was actually only 17 and a half when he signed up.