Thomas Arthur Bassett

Date of birth: 11th April 1875
Place of birth: Southampton
Date of marriage: 3rd November 1908
Service No.: Not known
Rank: Commander
Service: Royal Naval Reserve
Vessel: HMS President
Died: 29th September 1918 aged 43 years
Death location: RNVR Drill Ship, Blackfriars, Thames Embankment


Life before the War
Thomas was the ninth of 11 children born to parents Joseph Cabourne (1837 – 14th December 1902) and Mary Louisa, nee Allan (1837 – 22/1/1919).  Joseph and Mary were both born in London and they married on 11th April 1860 in Southampton.

Thomas’s siblings – 4 sisters and 6 brothers – were:

Alice Cleverley – born 1861 in Southampton and died 29th March 1953.
She did not marry.

Joseph Cabourn – born 1862 and died 5th February 1940 in New Milton.
Married Mary Ann Bassett in Exeter and remarried Maud E L Bassett in 1937 in Battersea.
Strangely, both of Joseph’s wives had the maiden name Bassett.  It is possible they were related but we are not able to confirm this.

Mary Louisa – born 1864 and died 1866.

George Arthur – born 1865 and died in a lunatic asylum in Bristol on 15th October 1914.
Married Kate Spearing  1887 in Portsea.

Allan Alexander – born 1867 and died 12th November 1940.
He did not marry.

Charles Henson – born 1869 and died on 10th August 1943.
Married Ellen Isabel Mulholland White 1897 in Southampton.

John Henry – born 1870 and died 8th June 1945 in New Milton.
Married Amy Louise Seaward Pearce in 1897.

Mary Caroline Louisa – born 1873 and died 1st September 1961.

Frederick Richard – born 1877 and died 1948 Southampton.

Amy – born 1878 and died 2nd May 1955.

In the 1881 census Thomas was living with his family at 2 Osborne Cottages, South Stoneham, Southampton.  His father was a Coppersmith.

By the 1891 census the family, including Thomas, was living at 12 Northumberland Road, Southampton. Thomas was working as a Printers Clerk and his father was still employed as a Coppersmith.

Thomas was at sea at the time of the 1901 census and in India for the 1911 census.  It was in Madras, India that Thomas married Helen Maud McEwan on 3rd November 1908.


“Mary Louisa Bassett of 143 Earls Road, widow died 22/1/1919 Administration London 1st September 1926 to Joseph Cabourne Bassett retired accountant Effects £153 6s 8d”

“Alice Cleverley Bassett of 77 Portswood Road, Southampton spinster died  29/3/1953 at Moorgreen hospital, West end near Southampton. Probate Winchester 12th June to Gwendolyn Georgina Bassett married woman and George Fhithyan managing clerk. Effects £2873 3s 10d”

“Joseph Cabourne Bassett of Little Oaks, Brook Avenue, New Milton died 5th February 1940. Probate Winchester 11th April to Maud Emma Lavinia Bassett widow. Effects £1410 10s 6d.”

“George Arthur Bassett of the lunatic asylum, Bristol died 15/10/1914. Administration Bristol 16th November to Kate Bassett widow.  Effects £132 16s”

“Allan Alexander Bassett of the Old Manor Salisbury died 12 November 1940. Administration (with will) Llandudno 4th April to Alice Cleverley Bassett spinster. Effects £908 1s 3d”

“Charles Henson Bassett of Greendowns Beauworth near Alresford died 10th August 1943. Probate London 10th October to Ellen Isabel Mulholland Bassett widow. Effects £2047 13s 2d”

“John Henry Bassett of Sea holme Lyon Avenue New Milton died 8th June 1945 Probate Winchester 28th September to Roger Seaward Bassett district operator petroleum board and Robert Norman Seaward Pearce trinity pilot. Effects £4690 11s 3d”

“Mary Caroline Louisa Bassett of 24 Raymond Road Shirley spinster died 1 september  1961 at 32 Landguard Road Shirley. Probate Winchester 14th November to Henry Walter Mccarthy, bank official. Effects £5406 16s 5d”

Amy Bassett of  77 Portswood Road, Southampton, spinster died 2 May 1955 at The Royal South Hants Hospital Southampton Probate Winchester 31 October to George Howard Bassett retired committee clerk and Dennis Charles Henson Bassett bank official. Effects £4635 14s 9d



Naval and War Service
In 1892 Thomas joined the navy.  On 11th February 1896 Thomas passed the exam for 2nd mate on square rigged vessels.  He previously failed the part of the exam on navigation on 6th February 1896.  At this time he was described as 5ft 7, dark complexion,  black hair, blue eyes, and scar on side of head.  The certificate was awarded on  13th February 1896.

On  6th August 1901 Thomas was certified as being “qualified to fulfill the duties of master of a foreign – going ship.”  His exam was passed on 1st August 1901 and the certificate was issued at the port of Southampton on 8th August 1901.  Thomas’s address at the time was Vernon House, 12 Northumberland Road, Southampton which was his parents address at the time of the 1891 and 1901 census.

Thomas died on the 29th September 1918 of accidental injuries.  At the time of his death his wife was living at “Daramona” Kotagiri, Niligiri Hills, India. Thomas is remembered on the family grave and memorial at Southampton Old Cemetery.  The inscription reads:

Bassett family grave and memorial

Bassett family grave and memorial

In loving memory of Joseph Cabourne Bassett
For 51 years in the R.M.SP Co’s service
Who died December 14th 1902, aged 65 years

Also of Mary Louisa, wife of the above
Who died January 22nd 1919, aged 82 years

Also of Thomas Arthur Bassett, Commander R.N.R
The beloved husband of Helen Maud Bassett
And 6th son of J.C & M.L Bassett
Who died September 29th 1918
“He gave his life for King and Country”

Also of Mary Louisa, daughter of J.C & M.L Bassett
Who died in infancy

Also Ann Bassett, sister of the above who passed over
May 2nd 1955, aged 75 years


Researcher: Amy Wiles
Published: 11th June 2015
Updated: Insert dates here

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