Thomas James Thorpe1 was born in Liverpool, Lancashire, England on 9 June 1874. He was the eldest child of Daniel Thorpe, a tinsmith, and Sarah Stringfellow. He had two younger sisters, Margaret and Ada.
By 1891 the Thorpe family lived at 60 Cornwall Street in Everton and a 16-year-old Thomas was already described as a ship’s cook. By 1896 he was a ship’s cook aboard Gascony, later working aboard Majestic and Ivernia in the following years. By 1911 Thomas was unmarried and still living with his parents, by then at 45 Herschell Street, Everton, still then described as a cook at sea.
In April 1912 Thorpe was serving as extra second cook aboard the eastward-bound voyage of the Carpathia when that ship rescued the survivors of the Titanic.
He later served in the merchant fleet during WWI and in following years was chief cook aboard a number of other ships. Having never married, Thorpe died in Liverpool in 1943 at the age of 68.