Mr Albert Charles Thomas was born in Liverpool, Lancashire, England on 13 February 1889.
He was one of five surviving children from a total of six born to William Thomas (b. 1858), a ship's steward, and Julia Smith (b. 1862), natives of Hampshire and Sussex respectively who had married in London in 1881.
His known siblings were: William Arthur (b. 1883), Amy Florence (b. 1885), Alice (b. 1893) and Harold Leslie (b. 1900).
The family had made their home in Liverpool for a number of years but later moved to Southampton sometime between 1895 and 1900 and when Albert appeared on the 1901 census he is living with his family at 44 Manchester Street in All Saints, Southampton and is described as a 12-year-old scholar. The family later relocated to 11 Brunswick Place, Southampton where they would appear on the 1911 census but Albert was absent and presumably at sea.
When he signed-on to the Titanic, on 4 April 1912, Thomas gave his address as 11 Brunswick Place, (Southampton). He had transferred from the Oceanic and as a first class steward he received monthly wages of £3, 15s.
Albert Thomas survived the sinking, with some historians placing him in lifeboat 15. He was not called to testify at either the British or American Inquiries into the disaster.
Albert returned to Britain and was still working at sea until at least the mid-1940s and later served aboard the Queen Mary as a bedroom steward. He was married in 1914 to Mary Beatrice Balston (b. 14 April 1886), a Southampton native, but they are not believed to have had any children and they later settled in Poole, Dorset.
Albert died in Poole in 1973 aged 84. His widow Mary also died there on 24 November 1977.
Peter Edward Payne
References and SourcesAgreement and Account of Crew (PRO London, BT100/259)
Photo: National Archives (Courtesy of Gavin Bell)