Mr Thomas James

Thomas James was born in Cardiff, Glamorganshire, Wales around 1885 1.

Thomas' wife was Esther Pearce (b. 27 October 1883 in Birr, Co Offaly, Ireland) although it appears they were never formally married. Esther Pearce had previously been married in 1902 in Alverstoke, Hampshire to Walter Harry Richards and they had at least one child, Ivy Doreen on 18 December 1905. What became of Walter Richards is uncertain. Thomas and Esther would have one child of their own, Winifred Irene on 2 November 1910.

On the 1911 census Thomas is absent and at sea but it is indicated that he was a stoker in the Royal Navy Reserve. His wife and daughters are living at 33 College Street, Southampton.

When he signed on to the Titanic, on 6 April 1912, Thomas gave his address as 27 College Street, (Southampton). His previous ship had been the Danube. As a fireman he received monthly wages of £6.

Thomas James died in the sinking. His body, if recovered, was never identified.

Thomas' widow Esther was remarried the following year to James A. Tapp and had several more children before her death in Southampton in 1973.

His stepdaughter Ivy Doreen was married in Southampton in 1924 to George Frederick John Manley and raised a family. Ivy died in 1973 in Southampton.

Thomas' daughter Winifred  was married in Southampton in 1931 to Frederick Albert Hollick but had no children. She died in 1991 in New Forest, Hampshire.


  1. Age under contention. He gave his age as 27 when signing on to Titanic. His age was given as 34 on the 1911 census. The 1911 census throws up several inconsistencies, however. His wife claimed to be 25 yet also stated that she had been married for 10 years.

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Gavin Bell, UK
Bill Wormstedt, USA

References and Sources

United States Senate, Washington 1912. n° 806, Crew List
South Wales Daily News 17th April 1912  p.5
Search archive British newspapers online

Link and cite this biography

(2019) Thomas James Encyclopedia Titanica (ref: #1535, updated 18th September 2019 19:55:13 PM)