Thomas Rowan Morrow was born in Rathfriland, Co Down, Ireland on 26 April 1881.
He was the son of Waddell Morrow (1834-1892) and Anne Osborne (b. 1851), Co Down natives who had married around 1877, and he had five known siblings: George (b. 1878), Waddell (b. 1879), Susan (b. 1880) Sarah (b. 1887) and Agnes (b. 1890). Thomas belonged to a Presbyterian household and his family were staunch Unionists who opposed Irish Home Rule, belonging to the Loyal Orange Orders in their district. Thomas was at one time a Worshipful Master within Drumlough Loyal Orange Lodge 153 and continued to be a prominent Orangeman in his area.
Thomas appeared on the 1901 census of Ireland living at 15 Downpatrick Street, Rathfriland where he was described as an unmarried grocer. He was the head of the household and also present at the address were his aunt Sarah Osborne and grandmother Susan Osborne. At home with his widowed mother and unmarried sister Sarah on the 1911 census, his address was given as house 28 in Drumlough, Rathfriland and he was now described as a farmer.
Thomas decided to join his brother Waddell who owned a ranch close to Gleichen, Alberta. He boarded the Titanic at Queenstown as a third class passenger (ticket number 372622, which cost him £7, 15s). As pointed out by Senan Molony in his book The Irish Aboard Titanic, Morrow would have cut a lonely figure among his fellow countrymen also travelling third class at the time, an overwhelmingly Irish Roman Catholic group who favoured Irish Home Rule and at a time when bitter sectarian tensions were on the rise in Ireland in the run-up to the Home Rule Bill being passed.
Thomas Rowan Morrow died in the sinking; his body, if recovered, was never identified.
To commemorate the centenary of the disaster Drumlough Loyal Orange Lodge had a bannerette commissioned in his memory.
References and Sources
Contract Ticket List, White Star Line 1912 (National Archives, New York; NRAN-21-SDNYCIVCAS-55)
Senan Molony (2000) The Irish aboard Titanic, Wolfhound Press, Dublin
Gavin Bell, UK
Joan A. Barbour, USA
Alan Hustak, Canada
Senan Molony, Ireland