I happened upon the Toalster name for the first time a few days ago when I prepared the Monumental Inscription record and headstone photograph for Catherine APPLEBY.
Catherine was the daughter of James Patrick TOALSTER and Ethel May HARRISON, born in Hull in 1906.
A quick search online for the meaning of the family name and its heartland turned up nothing of value and I must go with my instinct that it is an Irish name. Catherine’s great grandfather James Toalster was born in the Emerald Isle about 1810, possibly in Galway – the place named in the first of several records that track his career in the British Army. The others are Liverpool, Poona and London where, I think, he was discharged. In 1861 he can be found living in Scott Street, Sculcoates, given age 51 and described as a Chelsea Pensioner.
James was about 44 years-old when his son, also James, was born and did not live to see any of the twelve grandchildren young James had with Mary Ann CLEARY.
Eight of the twelve were boys and four would join the British Army and serve in the most senseless war. All went to foreign fields and only Catherine’s father, James Patrick, came home.
The three brothers are also remembered at the New George Street Shrine in their home town.
The 13th East Yorkshires was one of the Hull Pals Battalions. If you follow the link you will see that those whose Commonwealth War Graves are illustrated were all killed on the same day as Thomas Toalster. But his mother, still mourning the loss of two of her boys, lived in hope for several months that she might see Thomas again. He had been reported missing at the Battle of the Ancre (13 to 16 November 1916). Then, in late March/early April 1917 –
Ancre was the last of the infamous Somme battles fought over five months. John had been killed on the first day. Edward died from wounds suffered at the Second Battle of Ypres, when poison gas was first used on a large scale.
Only the brother who survived the war is represented on the FamilySearch Shared Tree. I will add the others tomorrow.