Thomas Topp was born in Southampton, Hampshire, England in late 1884 and his birth was registered in the first quarter of 1885. He was the son of Charles Topp (1857-1940), a master butcher, and Ellen Spencer (1853-1902). His father was originally from Poole, Dorset and his mother from Basingstoke, Hampshire and they married in Southampton in 1878.
Thomas, known as Tom, had five known siblings: Charles Frederick (b. 1878), Ellen Louisa (b. 1880), William George (b. 1881), Lydia (b. 1883) and Laura (b. 1890).
There is no trace of the family on the 1891 census. On the 1901 census Tom, his sister Laura and his parents are listed as living at 4 Cuckoo Lane, St Michael, Southampton. Curiously, and for reasons unknown, Tom is listed as a seven-year-old and his sister Laura as a three-year-old; and his parents have also shaved over a decade off their own ages. His mother passed away in 1902 aged 49. Tom would later follow in his father's footsteps and become a butcher.
Thomas was married in Southampton in the second half of 1910 to Alice Louisa Cull (b. 13 March 1889 in Southampton) and they had a son named Thomas Frederick on 25 September that same year.
On the 1911 census Thomas, his wife and son are living at 89 Milton Road, Southampton with his married sister Lydia Crowe, who was married to Titanic saloon steward George Frederick Crowe. His widowed father was listed as a lodger at 49 South Front, Southampton, the home of Titanic crew survivor Walter John Williams and his family.
When he signed-on to the Titanic, on 6 April 1912, Tom gave his address as 89 Millbrook Road, (Southampton). His last ship had been the Olympic. As second butcher he received monthly wages of £5 10s.
Thomas Topp died in the sinking. His body, if recovered, was never identified. The following death notice appeared in the Hampshire Advertiser on 27 April 1912:
TOPP--On the 15th inst., on the s.s. Titanic, Thomas Topp, of 89, Milton road, Fitzhugh, Southampton, aged 26.
Tom's widow Alice was remarried in Southampton in 1917 to James Badminton but is not thought to have had any further children. She died in Basingstoke, Hampshire in 1974 aged 85.
His son Thomas Frederick appears never to have married and died in Southampton in 1985.
Casualty List, Public Record Office (BT100/259)
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(2016) Thomas Topp Encyclopedia Titanica (ref: #2158, accessed 25th October 2016 08:21:26 PM)
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