Thomas was born on 24 April 1882, his mother Emma Jane Campey (nee Pybus) dying shortly after the birth on 2 May 1882. His father Thomas remarried Emma Hudson. in 1905 Thomas enlisted in the regular army as a rifleman in the 1st Battalion, King's Royal Rifles and spent five years of service in India. In 1912 he left the army but stayed part of the Army Reserve. He found employment as a tram conductor on Hull Corporation Tramway. On 22 June 1913 he married Cecelia Rosalie Gwendoline Haynes in Hull.
Thomas was recalled to the military when war broke out and served on the Western Front, winning the 1914 Star. The events that led to his being taken prisoner by the Germans are not documented but the Beverley Guardian of 12 December 1914 notes that his father received a letter from him and that he was in Gustrow POW camp. Rifleman Thomas Campey died of dysentry on 21 April 1915 in a prisoner of war camp, in Gustrow, in Mecklenburg, northern Germany. He was buried in the camp cemetery but in 1920 his body was moved to a cemetery in Hamburg.
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