People on board
WOODGATE, Thomas Joseph
Thomas Joseph Woodgate was born on the 31st of December 1903 in Mill Street, Callan, Co Kilkenny to Edward Woodgate and Hanora Lannen. Edward’s father William had been in the British Army and Edward was born in Malta. On his marriage and death certificates as well as the birth certificates of his children, and in the 1901 census, he gave his occupation as Labourer but in the 1911 census he was a ‘Manager’. A newspaper report in 1907 described him as ‘Storeman’ in a local shop.
Thomas was the sixth of the seven children in the family, the youngest of three sons. In September 1918 he enlisted in the Royal Air Force, but unfortunately the available record does not show where. He gave his date of birth as the 3rd of September 1900, thus making himself eighteen rather than fourteen. His physical description shows a slight figure, five feet five and a half inches tall with a chest measurement of twenty-nine inches. He gave his civilian occupation as ‘General Labourer’, though he was presumably still at school.
The official date of his entry into the R.A.F. was the 19th of September and his rank was Private. The record seems to indicate that he was being posted as reinforcement from the 29th of September, so it is not clear why he didn’t travel to England before the 10th of October. However he was on board RMS Leinster on that day and he did not survive the sinking of the ship. His body was recovered and he was buried in Grangegorman Military Cemetery in Dublin, one of the youngest military casualties of the war.