Thomas Gent was born on 2 March 1876 the eldest son of John Gent (1848-1924). He was a cotton calico weaver in Whittle le Woods. He died on 5 April 1899, aged 23. He was a member of St John’s Church choir.
In relation to his death an Inquest was held on 7 April 1899 by the Coroner for Manchester.
According to his death certificate Thomas Gent of Rivington View, Whittle le Woods died in the Royal Infirmary, Manchester, “from tenanus resulting from accidental injuries to his foot”. Infection of the wound would cause a slight fever and profuse sweating. There would be stiffness of the abdominal and back muscles and contraction of facial muscles resulting in a stiffness of the jaw, producing a fixed, mirthless smile. Painful muscle spasms would eventually affect the larynx or chest wall.
We have no clues as to why he died in a Manchester hospital rather than a local hospital closer to home.
A plaque was placed over the choir stalls in St John the Evangelist church, Whittle le Woods.
The Whittle le Woods Parish Magazine had the following article in the May 1899 issue:
The United Bible Classes held a Soiree in the School on Saturday April 8th, the Vicar being in the Chair. There was a very good attendence, though not as good as there would have been owing to the sad death of Tom Gent. The whole affair would have been posponed but the committee had got too far on with their preparations for that.
Thomas was buried in St John’s Graveyard on 8 April 1899.