Thomas was the youngest son of Joshua E and Mary Peel. The family lived at 27 English Street, Armagh, Northern Ireland (1911 Census) and Thomas was educated at the Armah Royal School, before entering the Medical School of the Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland.
He studied at the College of Medicine in Newcastle upon Tyne 1905-1911 and graduated with an M.B., B.S. After leaving the University Thomas became house-surgeon at the Royal Gwent Hospital, Newport. He then went to the Stafford General Infirmary, where he remained for some months before moving onto the North Stafford Infirmary at Stoke.
Whilst at the College of Medicine Thomas played for the College rugby team and was a member of the editorial committee of the Medical Gazette from 1908-1910 (Medical Gazette Volume IX, p.23, Volume X and XI). His contributions to the Gazette: Volume IX ‘A reflection on the sitting room at my digs’ (p.25), ‘Slackers Notes’ (p. 29), ‘A suggestion for a mathematical application’ (p. 49), ‘The woes of a student’ (p. 90), ‘The oath’ (p. 108), ‘The little ones’ (p. 133), Volume X ‘A tale of the past’ (p. 55), ‘Loves complaint’ (p. 58), Volume XI ‘The offence’ (p. 90), and ‘The Awakening’ (p. 107).
On 10th October 1914, he was gazetted as temporary Lieutenant in the R.A.M.C., and was attached as medical officer to the 5th Bn. Dorset Regiment. Thomas was mortally wounded by a Turkish sniper on 19th August 1915, while recovering wounded near Dead Man’s House, Suvla. He was evacuated to Mudros on the Greek island of Lemnos, where he died of his wounds.
Medical Gazette Vol XVI, Obituary: “T.A.Peel died of wounds in Gallipoli. A simple sentence but how much it tells. It is said that he who dies fighting for his country goes straight to Paradise, truly can this be said of T.A. Peel, whom we all knew and loved up at Durham. No more shall we see him playing “Rugger” for the University; no more shall we see his bright smile, or hear the racy anecdote which delighted his friends; no more will poems by “Tap” be seen in the College Gazette, charming Irish Idylls. The dear comrade and friend is gone; dying in the path of duty for his country. In these sad perilous days, we can ill spare our best. Full of energy and enthusiasm, true to his friends, he has left a blank not easily filled up. Here we shall never see his face again, but his memory will live in our hearts, we are honoured in being able to count him a friend. Of him we can say with full hope:- “These men having set a crown of immortalglory on their own land were folded in the dark cloud of death. Yet being dead, they havenot died, seeing their fame in battle hath raised them up forever from forgetting and the grave.” And we, in the words of our dear Durham Psalm “Lift up our eyes to the hills, the everlasting hills.” B.G.Connolly’