Mr Thomas Gibson Graham

Mr Thomas Gibson Graham was born in Belfast, Ireland on 26 December 1883.

He was the son of Elizabeth Graham (b. circa 1842), a native of Co Tyrone, but the identity of his father is unclear. He had two known siblings, his sister Elizabeth (b. 1874) and his brother Robert (b. 1877). The family were from a Church of Ireland religious background.

He first appears on the 1901 census, described as a labourer in a ropeworks and living at 34 Keatley Street in the Pottinger district of east Belfast, still with his mother. Both his parents had presumably died by the time of the 1911 census when he and his brother Robert (a damask finisher) were living at 14 Downpatrick Street in Victoria, east Belfast, the home of his married sister Mrs William James Rainey (Elizabeth) and her family; he was then described as a steamship stoker.

He had worked as a stoker in the Royal Navy since 1903, serving on an assortment of ships, including Indus, Vivid and Emerald. He was described as standing at 5' 3", with brown hair and grey eyes and of generally "good character". Exactly when he joined the merchant service is not known.

Graham was on the Titanic's delivery voyage from Belfast to Southampton. When he signed on again, on 6 April 1912, he gave his home address as 28 Downpatrick Street, Belfast and his previous ship as the Howth Head 1. As a fireman he could expect monthly wages of £6.

Thomas Graham survived the sinking but how he escaped is not clear. He was called to the British Inquiry as a witness but was not required to give any evidence.

Following the disaster Thomas continued working at sea. He was married in his native Belfast in early 1913 to Elizabeth Murphy and had two daughters, Elizabeth (b. 1913) and Isabella (b. 1914). The family lived at 64 Island Street in Sydenham, east Belfast.

Following the outbreak of WWI Thomas was quick to sign up for service but whether he ever saw any combat is not certain. He was still living in Belfast at the time of the 1918 street directory, still at 64 Island Street and still described as a seaman, but what became of he and his family thereafter is not known.

Credits
Gavin Bell

Notes
  1. Howth Head, believed to have been an Irish mail packet steamship operating out of Howth, a village in Co Dublin close to Dún Laoghaire.
  • Link and cite this biography

    (2016) Thomas Gibson Graham Encyclopedia Titanica (ref: #1500, accessed 3rd December 2016 11:37:27 AM)

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