Thomas James

Date of birth: 1872
Place of birth: Aberporth, Wales
Regiment / Division: Mercantile Marine
Vessel: HMHT Justicia
Rank / Service No: 3rd Engineer
Died: 20th July 1918, aged 46 years
Commemorated: Tower Hill Memorial


Thomas was the eighth of 12 known siblings born to Benjamin and Mary Anne James (nee Jenkins), who married in Cardigan in 1859.

The couple are known to have had 13 children, so it must be assumed that one died in infancy.


Benjamin, a farmer, was born in Cardiganshire in 1836 and he died in Aberporth in 1915.

Mary was also born in Cardiganshire, in 1839, and she passed away in Aberporth in 1886 aged only 47 years.



Margaret   b. 1859 Aberporth   d. ??

Sophia   b. 1860 Aberporth   d. ??   Married William Edwards in Cardigan in 1897.

David   b. 1863 Aberporth   d. ??   Living with father at 1911 Census.

William Henry   b. 1865 Aberporth   d. 1937 Wales   Married Edith Davies in Cardigan in 1914.

Jonathan   b. 1867 Aberporth   d. ??   In Islington at 1891 Census.

Mary Anne   b. 1869 Aberporth   d. ?? Single, living with father at 1911 Census.

Maud   b. 1870 Aberporth   d. 1954 Wales   Single, living with father at 1911 Census.


Benjamin   b. 1873 Aberporth   d. 1946 Wales   Living with father at 1911 Census.

Elizabeth   b. 1877 Aberporth   d. 1943 Wales   Living with father at 1911 Census.

Francis Ellen   b. 1878 Aberporth   d. 1948 Wales   Living with father at 1911 Census.

James   b. 1879 Aberporth   d. 1885 Aberporth


Thomas married Elizabeth Margaret Jenkins in Cardiff in 1896. The couple had 2 children, both born in Cardiff, so it must be assumed that the family moved to Southampton after 1905.

The family lived at 12 Norfolk Road, Shirley.


Eric Methuen Vivian   b. 1899 Cardiff   d. 1982 Bishops Waltham   Married Florence C. Miller in Brentford in 1925. A Police Superintendent.

Hayden Picton   b. 6 May 1905 Cardiff   d. February 2003 Victoria, Australia, aged 98 years !! Married Margaret Louise ?? in Australia…the couple are showing on Australian Electroal Rolls from 1931.


Elizabeth had been born in Maesteg in 1878; it is not known when she passed away.


On 19 July 1918, HMHT Justicia was en route from Liverpool to NYC (under ballast) when she was torpedoed and damaged by UB-64, 20 miles off Skerryvore in the Scottish Isles.


Whilst under tow the following day, she was once again torpedoed, this time by UB-124.

This incident happened 11 miles off Inistrahull, the most northerly island in Northern Ireland.


This time Justicia sank, with the loss of all engine-room crew (10 people).



Researcher: Mark Heritage
Published: 3rd October 2016


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