Rank: Able Seaman
Number: 229511
Date of Death: 18 November 1914
Age: 30
Cemetery: Sheerness Cemetery, Isle of Sheppey, Kent

Thomas was born in Ashton under Lyne on 1 November 1887 and, like many local men, trained to be a hatter. However, on his 18th birthday, he joined the Navy for a term of 12 years. His papers show him to have been a short man, standing only 5’ 2”, with a fresh complexion, brown hair and blue eyes.

Thomas served on a variety of ships in his career and, from the beginning of 1914, he was aprt of the crew of HMS Woolwich which was a depot ship for the destroyer fleet. On the day he died, Thomas is thought to have only recently joined the crew of HMS Jackal, one of the destroyers. He is understood to have had a fatal fall. There was a naval inquest which determined it was an “accidental death”.

However, his service file indicates that his brother wrote to the Admiralty complaining that the verdict was not in accordance with the facts. “Subsequent enquiries however showed there to be no reason to suppose that the fall which caused death was in any way to the condition of his health at the time and brother was informed accordingly.” This seems to have been the end to the matter.

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