K/4704 STO. 1c H. THOMAS. R.N.
Henry Thomas was born on 31 March 1889 in Loftus, North Yorkshire. He never actually lived in Bamber Bridge, though his mother moved there around 1912, and he has extensive family connections in Lostock Hall. His father was Joe Thomas (b. 1848 in Loftus), an ironstone miner. His mother was Hannah Isabella (Annabella) Brundrett (b. 1866 in Guisborough). Joe was 18 years older than Annabella and when they got married in 1888 she already had a son, Alfred (b. 1886 out of wedlock). Henry was their first child, born the following year, and Joe and Annabella had another eight children together: Elizabeth (b. 1891), William (b. 1895), Lydia (b. 1897), Ethel (b. 1900), Bella (b. 1901), Edith (b. 1903), Joe (b. 1906) and Robert (b. 1907). In 1911, Joe is recorded as still living in Loftus (37 High Street) but his wife is not registered at that address. I haven’t found her in the Census but it is possible she was visiting her siblings who had moved to Lostock Hall. Joe died in 1912 so Annabella was then 46 years old and she had 4 school-age children to look after. She moved to 12 Bridge Street, Bamber Bridge.
However, by this time Henry had joined the Navy. He enlisted in 1909 to serve for 12 years. He had auburn hair, grey eyes, and a fair complexion. He was 5'51/4" tall and had a 26" chest. Prior to joining the navy he had been a driver. He served on a number of ships but from early 1915 he was serving on M.F.A. “Lyons”. M.F.A. is mercantile fleet auxiliary, and “Lyons” was a salvage vessel. His naval records say he fell overboard from another vessel (possibly the submarine H.M. S. I.87) and was drowned. He was 26 years old.
Rank: Stoker 1st Class
Service Number: K/4704
Date of Death: 03/07/1915
Service: Royal Navy, M.F.A. "Lyons."
Cemetery/memorial reference: 41. D. 25.
Cemetery: GRIMSBY (SCARTHO ROAD) CEMETERY
Additional Information: Son of Joe and Isabella Thomas, of 393 Station Road, Bamber Bridge, Preston. Born at Loftus-in-Cleveland, Yorks.
The Brundrett family is very complicated, but Annabella’s siblings lived in Lostock Hall and Henry Thomas, through his mother, is related to Henry Brundrett, William Rose and Michael Jackson – they are all cousins – and they all lost their lives in the War.
This photograph of Henry Thomas was kindly sent to me by Karen Lyons, Henry's great-niece.