Thomas James Bone

Date of birth: 1860
Place of birth: Shirley, Southampton
Service No.: TBC
Rank: Greaser
Regiment / Division: Mercantile Marine Reserve
Battalion: HMS Alcantara
Died: 29th February 1916 aged 56 years
Death location: North Sea


Life before the War
Thomas was born in Shirley, Southampton in 1860.  His parents were George and Sarah.  George was born in 1831 and died in 1890, and his mother Sarah (nee Boyce) was born in 1835.  His father was employed as a Labourer.

Thomas had one brother George (1861) and five sisters Henrietta (1859 – 1919), Fanny (1867 – 1932), Sarah (1869 – 1949), Ada (1876 – 1966) and Alice (1878).

Thomas married Elizabeth Ellen Bartlett in Southampton in 1890.  Elizabeth was born in 1867 and died in 1905.

On the 1871 Census Thomas was living with his parents and siblings in Millbrook, Southampton.

When the 1881 and 1891 Census were taken Thomas was at sea.  In 1891 Elizabeth was lodging in Millbrook.

The 1901 Census showed that Thomas and Elizabeth were living at 15 Imperial Avenue, Shirley, Southampton.  They had no children.

When the 1911 Census was taken Thomas was again at sea.

Service History
Thomas joined the Mercantile Marine Reserve Navy and served on HMS Alcantara as a Greaser.

HMS Alcantara was an ocean liner and went into service weeks before the start of the World War 1.  She was converted to an Armed Merchant Cruiser in 1914 and the Captain was Thomas Erskine Wardle.  HMS Alcantara was hit by the ship SMS Greif and both ships sank.  Alcantara lost 72 men and the rest were picked up by the Andes and Munster.

Approximately 187 Germans died whilst 5 of their officers and 120 men were rescued from the same ship.

Thomas was entitled to the Victory and British War Medals.

He is remembered on the Southampton Cenotaph Wall and on also the Plymouth Naval Memorial.

Researcher: Shaun Connolly
Published.: 6th May 2014
Updated: Insert dates here

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