Mr Thomas Albert Street

Mr Thomas Albert Street was born in Shirley, Hampshire, England on 2 February 1887. 

He was the son of Henry Street (1835-1899), a gardener, and Emma Gates (1845-1925). Both his parents hailed from rural Hampshire and had married in 1865. They settled in Boldre, Hampshire before relocating to Romsey and finally settling in the Southampton area around 1886.

Thomas had twelve siblings: Alice Eva (b. 1862), Bessie (b. 1866), Henry (b. 1868), Charles (b. 1870), William (b. 1872), Frederick George (b. 1874), Fanny Maria (b. 1876), Mary Eliza (b. 1879), Annie Esther (b. 1881), Martha Emma (b. 1882), Walter John (b. 1884) and Cecil (b. 1891).

Thomas appears on the 1891 census and at that time he and his family were living at 10 Lion Street in Shirley, Hampshire, an address Thomas would live at for the next twenty years. The 1901 census describes Thomas, aged 14, as a gardener's son, he apparently having already left school and still without profession.  His father had died in 1899 aged 63 and his mother was not remarried. When the 1911 census was conducted Thomas was not present at home and presumably at sea.

When he signed-on to the Titanic on 6 April 1912 Street gave his address as 10 Lion Street, Southampton. His previous ship had been the Olympic and as a fireman he received monthly wages of £6.

On the night of the sinking Street was off duty at the time of the collision. In a 1935 interview he stated that he was among those who jumped into the icy waters, finding it difficult to swim away from the ship on account of the suction and remaining in the water for nearly half an hour before he was taken aboard the lifeboat commanded by Fifth Officer Harold Lowe, lifeboat 14. His later testimony may be questionable and some researchers are of the opinion that he left the Titanic in lifeboat 9.

Following the disaster Street was not called to give evidence to either the American or British inquiries into the disaster but was compensated £7, 16s, 6d with regards to his detention for the latter.

Thomas returned to Southampton and continued working at sea. He was married in Southampton in early 1914 to Mary Eliza Draper (b. 27 April 1887 in Southampton) and the couple went on to have three sons: Albert John (1914-1996), Charles Frederick George (1916-1979) and Archibald Henry (1919-1977).

During WWI Street served aboard the Beryl, which belonged to a yacht patrol and which was torpedoed just outside of Queenstown but he again escaped with his life. He also served aboard Olympic during the conflict and recalled one of his passengers during that time as Robert Borden, then prime minister of Canada. Following the conflict Street returned to the merchant service and worked on a host of vessels, including those on runs to South Africa and Japan. 

Thomas Albert Street
Thomas in 1935 (The Pictorial, 16 April 1935)

Street left the sea in the mid-1920s and relocated with his family to the northwest of England, settling in Morecambe where he held seasonal jobs as a commissionaire at Morecambe’s Central Pier and later working in the same capacity at Morecambe’s Winter Gardens. With a downturn in his health and falling on hard times, in 1934 Thomas and his family moved to Luton, Bedfordshire in search of further work, remaining there for at least a year and living at 13 Manor Path, from where he gave an interview to The Pictorial in April 1935 about his experiences.

Thomas and his family eventually resettled in Southampton and by 1939 were residents of 133 Bluebell Street, he being described as a general labourer. His wife Eliza later passed away on 28 December 1953.

Thomas Street rallied for a further decade after the loss of his wife before passing on 26 January 1964 aged 76. He was buried at South Stoneham Cemetery, Southampton (section M5, plot 189); the gravesite has no headstone, only a simple marker. His last surviving son Albert died in Southampton in 1996.

Notes

  1. He signed as, it would appear, "A. Streets".
  2. The address listed by the U.S. senate was 10 Crown Street, Shirley, Southampton

Pictures

Thomas Albert Street in 1935
The Pictorial  (1935) 
THOMAS ALBERT STREET IN 1935
Thomas Albert Street in c.1919
(1919) 
THOMAS ALBERT STREET IN C.1919
 

Comment and discuss

  1. Karen Jones said:

    Hi My grandmother is the daughter of a WILLIAM HENRY Street (born Hants, Southampton on 12/04/1888) As a child she was always told that her father had been on the Titanic when it sank and had survived. As a child she never really asked about it, and apparently her father was fairly quiet and never really spoke about it. When docking at a town in the north he met his future wife, and left the navy to be with her, where he stayed and they consequently had my grandmother (we have one very old picture of him in his navy uniform). The family only ever went back to Southampton once to... Read full post

  2. Lester Mitcham said:

    Hello Karen, Welcome to encyclopedia-titanica. A check of the Crew Sign-on sheets which can be viewed on this web-site: look under: Southampton, Crew: Agreement and Account of Crew (PRO Ref: BT100/259) gives only one Crew member named Street. - Engine Department - Book 2 - line 29. - His signature reads A. Streets. - The same signature appears on the List of Crew Survivors alongside the name A. Street on the pages listing their "Balance of Wages due on... Read full post

  3. Karen Jones said:

    Hi Lester - thanks for this. I had already seen the record of entry and obviously the name / address etc doesn't match. Hence my hoping that someone has copies of the individual pictures taken after they were saved that this documentary mentioned. I was hoping to be able to show my grandmother a pic so that she could ID him (or not). Does anyone know what proof of ID they would have needed (if any ??) before being allowed to work ?

  4. Bob Godfrey said:

    Karen, you're in luck.. See the thread below where there is some discussion about the identity of fireman Street, and a link to some photographs.

  5. Karen Jones said:

    Wow - thanks Bob - sorry I was obviously still writing while you were posting I have pm'd Chris about the pics and am sending them to my grandmother as we speak. She has advised in previous discussions that she doesn't want to know if he was NOT on board as it would upset her - so I have mailed them just asking if she knows who these 2 men might be .. I am presuming the pic on the right was the one I was referring to ? As in taken after rescue ?

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  6. Karen Jones said:

    I do have one pic of him myself but it was taken years later - it's hard to tell with the age gap - but the ears are very similar ...

  7. Bob Godfrey said:

    There was never any attempt made to systematically photograph survivors after the wreck. The pic on the right, which is definitely Thomas Albert Street, was taken I'd imagine from his seaman's registration card in the early 1920s. The left hand pic is cropped from a Press photo of a group of Titanic crew survivors (including firemen) arriving in Plymouth in 1912. At the time the men was not identified by name in any caption, but as Chris pointed out these two faces appear to be the same. .

  8. Karen Jones said:

    Thanks Bob. The programme I was watching was the conspiracy theory one where they were proving that the Titanic WAS the Titanic and not the Olympic. They spoke of how once the survivors were safely ashore they took a group photograph and also individual photos and were "briefed" on what to say to the press. They showed some of the individual pictures, which they described as "rarely seen". Unfortunately I don't know which the channel the programme was on but presume it's been aired before at it was on one of the Sky channels ? I also found this link which was posted by someone on... Read full post

  9. Bob Godfrey said:

    That photo was taken in New York, Karen, and it shows a number of survivors from the deck crew. Far from being proved, the 'Switch Theory' has been thoroughly discredited by those best qualified to judge its claims, so I wouldn't take that TV documentary too seriously. :-)

  10. Karen Jones said:

    Yeah thanks Bob - that's what the documentary was doing - it was disproving the switch theory :-). It does make me wonder though that if the attached pic - that you've confirmed was them - WAS taken - MAYBE they did take others ? Was just wondering anyway Out of interest - have all the guys in the pic been identified does anyone know ?

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  11. Bob Godfrey said:

    There are lots of group photos of crew survivors, some posed, some not, taken in New York or Washington (eg witnesses at the Senate Inquiry) or in Plymouth after their arrival back in England. Most were taken by Press photographers who made no attempt to identity the faces as individuals. But I know of no organised attempt to make a collection of individual 'mug shots' prior to the requirement for seamens' ID cards years later. The documentary might have used portraits taken from those cards. There's a thread here on ET somewhere in which members were guessing at the identities of the... Read full post

  12. Karen Jones said:

    Thanks Bob - this is the first photo I've ever seen of any kind of crew - apart with the Thomas Street one you sent a link to earlier. Are any of the others on here anywhere do you know ? I've had a look around and found a few posed ones of the more senior staff - but nothing else of people like the firemen ...

  13. Bob Godfrey said:

    I daresay you could find more images online, but the best source I know for photos of crew survivors (albeit with many of them unidentified) is the book Titanic Voices. Perhaps your local library could get hold of a copy. The group photo which includes the man thought to be Mr Street is reproduced on page 226, very sharp and clear. It shows him full length, which is ideal for identification. You couldn't wish for a better photo of the man. .

  14. Karen Jones said:

    Hi She didnt recognise the picture so nope its not him. I'm surprised though that no relatives have been in touch. Having looked at the census records Thomas Albert came from a LARGE family having TWELVE brothers and sisters !! : In no particular order we have : Martha 1883 Cecil 1890 Thomas 1888 Walter 1885 Fred 1875 Annie 1881 Charles 1871 Fanny 1876 Mary 1880 William 1873 Alice 1862 Bessie 1866 Henry 1870 His parents were Henry Street born in Boldre Isle of Wight in 1835. Emma born in Boldre in 1845

  15. Karen Jones said:

    Hi guys Is there any way of deleting this thread ? I dont want her to stumble across it if possible ... Thanks ...

  16. Karen Jones said:

    PPS One final check - can someone just re-assure me that theres no way he could have travelled under any other name is there ? And there are no unidentified staff ? She has said previously her mother was always very sure he was on it - and that after seeing the original film when it came out he commented on a couple of things in the film being innacurate .. he didnt want to watch it himself but they told him about it afterwards ..

  17. Bob Godfrey said:

    Karen, the best approach for you would be to research your great grandfather's life. I got the impression from your earlier posts that he was in the Royal Navy? If so, try to obtain his service record. If you find that he was in the Service in 1912, he couldn't have been working on a merchant ship and that would settle the matter.

  18. Karen Jones said:

    Yeah thanks Bob - I have the names of 3 ships he was on in 1917 - he was on minesweepers - and I know that he was discharged 22/01/1919 - she has some kind of discharge record. The number on his dishcarge book she has is 960509 - but I cant seem to find this number anywhere. I dont know where he was before that ... thanks for all your help though ...

  19. Karen Jones said:

    His father was also in the Royal Marines Light Infantry so I'm trying to get some info on him too .. I onlt found that out as he appears in hospital in one of the census records

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Credits

Trevor Baxter, UK
Gavin Bell, UK
Michael Poirier, USA
Brian J. Ticehurst, UK
Bill Wormstedt, USA

References and Sources

RMS Titanic: Agreement and Account of Crew (National Archives, London, BT100/259)
United States Senate, Washington 1912. n° 806, Crew List
National Archive (CR10 Identity Card), Crown Copyright
The Pictorial, 16 April 1935, A Titanic Survivor
Search archive British newspapers online

Link and cite this biography

Encyclopedia Titanica (2020) Thomas Albert Street (ref: #1671, last updated: 16th August 2020, accessed 27th September 2020 16:54:13 PM)
URL : https://www.encyclopedia-titanica.org/titanic-survivor/thomas-albert-street.html