Mr Thomas Walter King (Master at Arms) was born in Great Yarmouth, Norfolk, England on 9 May 1869.
He was the son of Daniel John King (1844-1898) and Harriet Margaret Topps (1844-1921). His parents, both natives of Yarmouth, had married there in 1867 and went on to have at least five children: Daniel Thomas (b. 1867), William (b. 1873), Frederick Albert (b. 1874), Gertrude Alice (b. 1877), May (b. 1883) and Thomas.
On the 1871 census Thomas, his brother Daniel and mother are listed as visitors at 8 Market Road, Great Yarmouth, the home of his grandparents Thomas and Emma Maria Topps. His father Daniel, a boat builder, is listed at a different address in Nelson, Norwich. On the 1881 census Thomas is again listed as a visitor at his grandparents' home, now at 60 Market Road. He later worked as a painter.
Thomas joined the Royal Navy on 11 November 1887, then being described as standing at 5' 7" and with dark hair, blue eyes and a fresh complexion. His first ship was the Pembroke, on which he served as a stoker. He would also serve aboard Flamingo, Cleopatra, Leander, Spartan, Wildfire I, Satellite, Royal Oak, Victorious, Hawke and Dido, among others. By 1908 he had attained the position of master-at-arms. His last ship was that which he had first served upon, Pembroke, before he was pensioned from the service, throughout which he had served with excellent conduct.
Thomas was married in Medway, Kent in 1889 to Rose White (b. 1863 in New Brompton, Kent). On the 1891 census Thomas' family are listed living at 23 Military Road, Chatham, Kent. His father is now listed as a fisherman on top of his shipwright duties and his mother, several siblings and his wife Rose are now running a fish shop.
Thomas and Rose went on to have five children: Walter Thomas (b. June 4, 1893), Thomas George (b. 1894), Rose Caroline (b. June 23, 1898), Helen Margaret (b. 1900) and Dorothy (b. 1909).
On the 1901 census Thomas is absent, but his wife and four of his children are listed as living at 6 Middle Street, Gillingham, Kent. His wife is still described as a fishmonger.
On the 1911 census Thomas is at home (30 Wolsey Avenue, East Ham, Essex) and he is now described as a Naval Pensioner Bank Corter. His wife died not long after this census was taken.
Thomas signed on to the Titanic on 6 April 1912 as one of two masters-at-arms. He gave his address as 23 Middle Market Road, Great Yarmouth, Norfolk (the address of his mother). His previous ship had been the Olympic and as master-at-arms his monthly wages were £5, 10s.
Thomas was lost in the disaster. His body, if recovered, was never identified.
His son Walter Thomas was later married and died in Redbridge, London in 1976. His son Thomas is believed to have died in London in the early 1970s. His daughter Rose was married in 1927 to Edward Le Sage and had two children before she died in Bromley, Kent in 1977. What became of his other two daughters is not clear.