Orderly Room Quarter-Master Sergeant Thomas Whitehead was born in the Parish of Clement St. Dane's, London in October 1862 and briefly served in the 8th (Volunteer) Battalion of the King's Royal Rifle Corps prior to enlisting in the Rifle Brigade in November 1884, aged 22 years. Posted to the 2nd Battalion, with whom he stayed throughout his career, Whitehead gained rapid promotion to Colour-Sergeant in September 1892 and to Quarter-Master Sergeant in September 1895. Subsequently present in operations in the re-conquest of the Sudan, he was afterwards detached for service in the occupation of Crete in September 1898. Back in action in South Africa between October 1899 and September 1902, he was present at the Defence of Ladysmith, and in April 1903 was awarded his L.S. and G.C. Medal. Retiring in the following year, he joined the Staff of the Black Rod at the House of Lords, initially as a Messenger and latterly as Resident Staff Superintendent. Whitehead, 'A Rifleman and a Gentleman in every sense of the word', received his M.S.M. in 1935 and died in Speldhurst, Kent in January 1938.