People on board
Thomas Williams was born in Holyhead about 1855. Not much is known of his early life but it is probably the same Thomas in the 1881 census, who was living in Foundry Street in Holyhead, occupation ‘Mariner’. He was with his widowed mother and younger brother, who was a ‘Ship’s Steward’. Thomas married in 1884 to Ann from Morfa Nevin in Caernarvonshire and about this time he began work with the City of Dublin Steam Packet Co as a Fireman or Stoker.
In 1891 the family was living in Cybi Place in Holyhead and two children had been born, William Thomas in 1885 and Elizabeth in 1888. There was also one Lodger living with them. Ten years later they had moved to Hilton Leigh, 18 Cybi Street, and another daughter, Catherine had been born. Thomas was a ‘Marine Stoker’ and William Thomas was a ‘Plumber’s Apprentice’. In the 1911 census Thomas was on board RMS Connaught as Head Stoker in Kingstown harbour, while Ann and her two daughters were in Holyhead, with two Boarders in the household.
He was one of the two Leading Firemen on board RMS Leinster on the 10th of October 1918 and he did not survive the sinking. His body was recovered and, with those of six other crew members from Holyhead, was returned on board SS Rostrevor, where he was interred in Maeshyfryd cemetery.
He is named on the Holyhead War Memorial and on a Roll of Honour in the Armenia Chapel. He was awarded the Mercantile Marine Medal and the British War Medal.
His widow was the subject of a question put in the Westminster Parliament in June 1919 by Sir Owen Thomas M.P. for Anglesey. He queried the amount of compensation she was receiving – four shillings and ten pence a week, when she would have been getting £5 a week if her husband were still alive. He was promised that her case would be investigated.