Andrew Thomas Orchard

Date of birth: 21st October 1877
Place of birth: Dorset (though Royal Navy records show Southampton)
Service No.: 284567 (R.F.R. Po.B.2990o) (Po)
Rank: Stoker 1st Class
Regiment / Division: Royal Navy
Battalion / Ship: HMS Tipperary
Died: 1st June 1916 aged 38 years
Death location: At sea

Life before the War
Andrew Thomas, aka Thomas, was born 21st October 1877 and baptised on 6th November 1878 at St.  Peter’s Church, Dorset and died 1st June 1916.  His parents were Ambrose Charles, aka Charles, and Margaret.  Ambrose was baptised at West Knighton, Dorset on 26th July 1835.  He died 1890 in Southampton.  Margaret, nee Byrne, was born 1853 in County Wicklow, Ireland.  She and Ambrose married 1872 in Dublin South, Ireland.

Ambrose Charles and his wife Margaret tragically lost their four sons in the Great War.

Andrew’s siblings were:

Charles – baptised at St. Peter’s Church, Portland, Dorsetshire on 21st January 1877; died 14th September 1914 (war casualty).

Daisy May – born 26th May 1880, baptised 13th October 1880 St. Peter’s Church.  Married William Thomas McAllen 1903.

Wilfred Lawson – baptised 3rd September 1882 at Melcombe Regis; died 29th September 1918.

Alfred Henry, aka Harry – born 1885 Southampton; died 31st October 1914 (war casualty).

Mabel – born 1887 Southampton.

The family lived at The Grove, Portland in 1881.  Nearby was the village of Easton, notable for containing a Youth Offenders Institute, where Ambrose was employed as a Warder Convict Services.  At the time of Wilfred’s baptism in 1882 Charles was a Licensed Victualler.

By 1891 Margaret was widowed.  She moved to Southampton with the family and was a Lodging House Keeper at 19 Simmel Street, St. Michaels District.  Charles and Thomas were employed as Messengers.

Margaret married James Macey 1891 in Southampton.  Margaret with her husband and their daughter Victoria Maud Macey, born 1895, were living at 32 Dukes Road, Portswood, Southampton in 1901.  James was a Dock Labourer.

The Orchard children had left home by1901 – Andrew was serving aboard HMS Electra as a Leading Stoker, Daisy was employed as a Housemaid in Bournemouth whilst Charles was living in Minchinhampton, Gloucestershire working as a Domestic Gardener.

In 1911 Wilfred and Charles were serving in India.  Wilfred served with the 2nd Cameron Highlanders as Lance Corporal (Bandsman).  Victoria Maud Macey was a housemaid living at 12 Brunswick Place, Southampton.  Andrew lived in Petersfield where he worked for the General Post Office as a Skilled Labourer in the Engineering Department.

Brother Charles’ War Service
Charles served with the Queen’s Own Cameron Highlanders as a Private. He served in the Western European Theatre and was killed in action on 14th September 1914.

Brother Wilfred’s War Service – Mikra British Cemetery
“Orchard, Pte. Wilfred Lawson, 4128. 2nd Bn. Cameron Highlanders. 29th Sept., 1918. Age 36. Brother of Mrs. McAllen, of 247, Manor Farm Rd., Bitterne Park, Southampton”.

Brother Alfred’s War Service
Alfred enlisted into the Queen’s Own Cameron Highlanders with the 1st Battalion.  He died on 31st October 1914 whilst fighting in the Western European Theatre.

Select the brothers names to read their stories.

Andrew Thomas’s War Service

Name: Thomas Orchard
Rank: Sto 1st
Birth Date: 21st October 1877
Birth Place: Southampton, Hants
Branch of Service: Royal Navy
Cause of Death: Killed or died as a direct result of enemy action
Office Number Port Division: 284567 (R.F.R.Po.B.2990) (Po)
Death Date: 1 Jun 1916
Ship or Unit: HMS Tipperary
Location of Grave: Not recorded
Name and Address of Cemetery: Body not recovered for burial.
Relatives Notified and Address: Sister: Daisy McAllen; 247 Manor Farm Rd, Bittern Park, Southampton, Hants.

Andrew Thomas’s National Probate Calendar
“Orchard Thomas of 247 Manor Farm Road Bitterne Park Southampton died 1 June 1916 at sea. Administration Winchester 5 November 1923 to Daisy McAllen (wife of William Thomas McAllen). Effects £112 12 7d”

Andrew Thomas is Remembered with Honour on the Portsmouth Naval Memorial, Southsea Common, Portsmouth, Hampshire. the memorial reads:

“Orchard, Sto. 1st Cl. Thomas, 284567 (RFR/PO/B/2990). R.N. H.M.S. “Tipperary”. Killed in action at Battle of Jutland 1st June, 1916. Age 38. Son of Charles and Margaret Orchard”

Andrew was entitled to the Star, British Service and Victory Medals.

HMS Tipperary
Tipperary led the 4th Flotilla at the Battle of Jutland under Captain C. J. Wintour.  Tipperary and her squadron pressed home determined torpedo attacks on the German main battle line as it escaped across the rear of the British fleet during the night action, starting at approximately 23:20 on 31 May 1916.  The 4th Flotilla sank the German light cruiser S.M.S. Frauenlob, but Tipperary and many of the other British destroyers were sunk or badly damaged.  These engagements took place at such close range that some of Tipperary’s squadron were able to hit the German dreadnoughts with their small 4 inch guns causing casualties that included command officers on the bridges.

HMS Tipperary was sunk on 1 June 1916 by 5.9 inch (150 mm) fire from the secondary battery of the German dreadnought S.M.S. Westfalen with the loss of 185 hands from her crew of 197.  The wreck site is designated as a protected place under the Protection of Military Remains Act 1986.

Researcher: Rebecca Lonergan
Published.: 1st December 2013
Updated: Insert dates here

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