Thomas Henry Blake was born in St Tessell, Cornwall, England over the summer months of 1875.
He was the son of Guy Blake (1839-1912), a gardener, and Harriet Henwood (1839-1904). Both his parents were Cornish and had married in 1866. He had three known siblings: Charles Guy (b. 1867), Frederick (b. 1869) and Beatrice Ann (b. 1873).
Thomas first appears on the 1881 census when he and his family were residing at Clutton in High Littleton, Somerset. The 1891 census shows Thomas, listed as an assistant to his gardener father, now living at an address in Clifton, Bristol. He went to sea in the following years and appears on the 1901 census as a boarder at 19 Church Street, Woolwich, London and he is described as an unmarried ship's fireman.
Thomas was married in Southampton in mid-1904 to Alice Finch Smith (b. 1876 in Reading, Berkshire) and the couple had two children: Gladys Marjorie (b. 2 August 1905) and Frank Reginald (b. 3 January 1908). The family appear on the 1911 census living at 35 Peel Street, St Mary, Southampton and Thomas is described as a ship's fireman for the White Star Line.
When he signed-on to the Titanic, on 6 April 1912, Thomas gave his address as 35 Peel Street, Northam, Southampton. He was transferred from the Oceanic. As a fireman he could expect to earn monthly wages of £6.
Thomas Blake died in the sinking, his body, if recovered, has never been identified. He is mentioned on the St. Augustine's Church Memorial, Northam, Southampton. His death came only weeks after the death of his father, Guy, earlier in the year.
Thomas' widow Alice never remarried and resettled in Wallisdown, Dorset, later living at 84 Bryant Road. She died on 19 February 1950.
His daughter Gladys never married and remained in Southampton where she died in 1992. His son Frank also remained in Southampton, becoming a weaver and pattern maker. He died in 1996.
References and Sources
British Census 1881-1911
United States Senate, Washington 1912. n° 806, Crew List
Donald Hyslop, Alastair Forsyth and Sheila Jemima (1997) Titanic Voices: Memories from the Fateful Voyage, Sutton Publishing, Southampton City Council. ISBN 0 7509 1436 X
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