Mr Thomas Benjamin Kirkaldy (T. Clark) was born on 9 August 1876 in St James, London, England.
He was the son of Robert Alexander Kirkaldy (1854-1901) and Sarah Davies (b. 1852), natives of Surrey and Cardiganshire respectively who had married in St George the Martyr’s Church in Southwark, London on 23 March 1874.
He had two known siblings: Robert Davies (b. 1874) and Catherine Emily Victoria (b. 1878).
By the time of the 1881 census the family were living at 40 Jermyn Street, Westminster; his father was described as a club steward and the family appears to have been moderately comfortable financially with at least two servants in their employ.
Thomas had left home by the time of the 1891 census and was working as a bar tender and boarding at the Savage Club at 6-7 Adelphi Terrace, St Martin's, London. He later went to sea and would serve for several years aboard Majestic and several crew lists from between 1898 and 1901 show that even then he was signing aboard as "T. Clark(e)."
Described as a mariner and giving an address of 154 Leopold Road, Liverpool, Kirkaldy was married in Christ Church in Kensington, Liverpool on 8 June 18991 to Martha Anne Price (b. 19 July 1874 in Liverpool), daughter of joiner George Price and the former Eliza Lloyd.
Thomas and Martha became the parents of two sons: Leonard (b. 24 December 1902) and Frank Alexander (b. 13 March 1904). Their firstborn Leonard was seemingly a sickly child; they had him baptised in Christ Church in Kensington, Liverpool on 8 January 1903 but he died just days later and was buried in West Derby Cemetery on 18 January.
At the time of the 1901 census Kirkaldy and his wife still resided at 154 Leopold Road, although Thomas absent was during this time, presumably away at sea. By the time of the 1911 census Kirkaldy, his wife and son Frank had relocated to Hampshire and were living at Seftonmount, Hillside Avenue, Bitterne, Southampton and Thomas was then described as a steward. Also living with them at the time of the latter record was Kirkaldy’s unmarried sister-in-law Laura Eliza Price (b. 1868), a marine stewardess.
When he signed-on to the Titanic on 4 April 1912 (again as T. Clark) Kirkaldy gave his address as Hillside Avenue in Southampton. His previous ship had been the Olympic and as a First Class bedroom steward he received monthly wages of £3, 15s.
Thomas Kirkaldy died in the sinking and his body, if recovered, was never identified.
Thomas' widow Martha never remarried and died in Trowbridge, Wiltshire in 1961 aged 86.
Their son Frank later married in 1933 to a lady named Elizabeth Sarah Admans (1897-1986); in his younger years he had lived for a number of years in Venezuela. He also died in Trowbridge, passing away in 1986.