Research and text by Brian Roote
Maurice Thairs was born in Croydon on 3 May 1897 to Henry and Ellen (nee Geary). They moved to 2 Alma Cottages Magdala Road and Maurice attended Brighton Road School.
His military service is riddled with anomalies. It appears he started his life in the army as Patrick O’Brien and there is a note on his medal card that he changed his name to Thairs by a Statutory Declaration on 3 October 1915. His entry in the Croydon Roll of Honour gives his school as St Mary’s School and this was one he attended. The entry also states that he enlisted on 1 July 1915 and served in Salonica and Egypt. We will never know why he took the name O’Brien and then changed it back to his real name
He died of his wounds on 17 August 1918 and was buried in Godewaersvelde British Cemetery, northern France.
He is on Brighton Road School Memorial.