Mr Benjamin James Thomas

Mr Benjamin James Thomas  (Saloon Steward, 1st Class) was born in Clapham, London, England on 31 May 1881.

He was the son of Jane Thomas (b. 1852), a native of Shrewsbury, Shropshire, but the identity of his father is not clear and he had died around 1890. He had one known surviving sibling, a brother named Ernest (b. 1890).

Benjamin was listed on the 1891 census with his mother and brother living at 41 Rathbone Street, West Ham, Essex.

He married Polly James (born 1877) in Lewisham in 1906.

He was on board the Titanic for her delivery trip from Belfast to Southampton. When he signed-on again, in Southampton, on 4 April 1912, he gave his address as 122 Avenue Road, Southampton. As a first class saloon steward he received monthly wages of £3 15s. His last ship had been the Olympic and he had been aboard her when she collided with the Hawke in 1911.

Thomas was rescued in lifeboat 15.  He emigrated to America in 1912 and with his wife was listed as visiting/lodging with old shipmate Fred Toms in Los Angeles in 1930.

He died probably in New Jersey sometime in the 1930s.

Gavin Bell, UK
Peter Engberg, Sweden

1. When he signed on in Belfast he gave his birthplace as London, in Southampton he gave it as Wrexham, Wales. It appears that his birth was registered in Wandsworth (London), in 3rd Qtr 1881.
References and Sources
Agreement and Account of Crew (PRO London, BT100/259)
Particulars of Engagement (Belfast), Ulster Folk and Transport Museum (TRANS 2A/45 381)
1920,1930 US Census
1891-1911 British Census
World War I Draft Registration Cards, 1917-1918
Craig Stringer (2003) Titanic People (CDROM)
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