Born 1864 in Tavistock, Devon to Methodist parents Simon and Elizabeth. One of thirteen children of whom only a handful survived as a result of a high rate of infant mortality. Thomas was in dire poverty during certain periods of his childhood but was a dedicated scholar who achieved academically. Became a paid monitor at 13 and a pupil teacher at 15. Went on to continue his education in London where he proceeded to make a career out of teaching and writing books on and for the use of education. Married Constance Annette Backer in 1893 until her untimely death in 1899. Three children with Constance, Dorothy Annette, Constance Elizabeth and Arthur who sadly passed away before his first birthday as a result of pneumonia. Thomas later married Christine Morton in 1902 and had three children, Alison, Joan and Tony who died serving his country in 1940. Thomas ventured to America a year prior to this to lecture in Colorado. During this period he visited Chicago, Denver and the Rocky Mountains and also saw Canada going to Quebec, Montreal and Toronto. Thomas worked as a chief inspector of schools later in his life but moved closer to home in 1934 settling in Cornwall to retire, doing odd jobs occasionally and spending the majority of his time reading and writing.