The Sinking of the R.M.S. Leinster
 

People on board

Thomas Boyd Thompson

THOMPSON, Thomas Boyd

Thomas Boyd Thompson was born on the 7th of April 1898 in Harding Street, Londonderry to Thomas Henry Thompson and Susan Boyd. He was the fifth of their six children and the youngest of three sons. One daughter had died in infancy. Thomas Henry had been born in Co Mayo but had married in Londonderry in the Presbyterian Church, and the family gave their religion as ‘Congregationalist’. He was a Department Manager in a shirt factory.

Thomas Boyd joined the army in March 1915 at the age of sixteen, firstly in the Black Watch, and then in the 1st Battalion of the Royal Dublin Fusiliers. His two brothers also served in the Army, Victor Logan died in France in October 1916, a Corporal in the Black Watch, and Henry Norman, a 2nd Lieutenant in the Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers, died in France in March 1918. Thomas Boyd was a Private and, twice wounded, wore four service chevrons and two gold stripes.

He was returning to England after leave at home when he was travelling on RMS Leinster. He did not survive the sinking but his body was recovered and was returned to Londonderry where there was a large funeral. The coffin was borne on a gun carriage, covered with the Union Flag and many wreaths. He was buried in the City Cemetery. His name and those of his brothers are inscribed on the Diamond War Memorial in the city.

The family were living in Melrose Terrace in the Waterside and, having lost her three sons, Susan Thompson lost her husband in 1925, but life continued for her and her two daughters. Music played a large part – Winifred and Muriel were members of the ‘Derry Trio’ who were successful in the Feis Ceoil in 1925 and Muriel went on to a semi-professional career as a contralto.

 

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