Harold Thornton Thane was born in Yass, New South Wales, Australia on 17 June 1888. He was the second son of Philip Thorton Thane, an English-born physician, and Annie Flora Willis. His mother died when he was young and his father remarried, affording him several half-siblings.
When Thane first went to sea is unclear; in April 1912 he was serving as a hospital attendant aboard the eastward-bound voyage of the Carpathia when that ship rescued the survivors of the Titanic.
Thane continued working at sea and by December 1913 he was a steward aboard Afric; during 1915 he served aboard Suevic and his last recorded service was in September 1916 when he was a hospital attendant aboard the Ceramic.
The Yass Courier (16 July 1917) states that Harold Thane died at the family home at two o’clock on 14 July 1917 from an undisclosed illness. He was buried in Waverly Cemetery (section 15, row 34) in New South Wales.