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  • Whose name is commemorated on the Hollybrook Wr Memorial, in Southampton 
Courtesy CWGC
Person Details
Kelstern, Lincolnshire
Thomas was born in 1883 in Kelstern, near Louth in Lincolnshire and was the son of Thomas a farmer and Elizabeth Graham Harrison nee Camm. Thomas senior was born in 1857 in Hemmingsby, Lincolnshire Elizabeth was born in 1859 in Southwell, they were married in Southwell in September 1881. They had seven children , Margaret Graham b1882, Thomas Walter b1883, Graham b1884, Louisa b1887, Evelyn Dorothy b1889, Edmund b1892 and Eric Cam b1896 but died 1907 aged 11 years, all the children were born in Kelstern. In the 1901 census the family can be found living at Kelston Grange, Kelston , Thomas senior 44 years a farmer is living with his wife Elizabeth 42 years and their children , Margaret 18 years, Louisa 14 years. Evelyn 12 years, Edmund 9 years and Eric 5 years, also at the address are three servants , a housemaid, a cook and a nursemaid. At this date 1901 Thomas Walter has moved out of the family home , he is living by himself at 56 Carlton Road, Boston , he is single and is shown as head of his household, he is 17 years of age and is working as a maltsters pupil, student born at Kelstern. By the 1911 census , the family are still living at Kelstern Grange, Kelstern , Thomas senior now 54 years and still a farmer is living at the address with his wife Elizabeth 52 yrs and their children Margaret 28 years and single , Thomas Walter 27 years a farmers son working on the family farm and single and Edmund 19 years and single, also at the address are 3 servants. On 30th May 1916 at Kelstern he marries his wife Katie Ella Wilcock she was born and lived in Horncastle. On 14th July 1917 his mother Elizabeth dies in Louth registration district aged 58 years , his father Thomas dies on 25th October 1923 at Horncastle aged 66 years. Thomas junior's probate was proven with a will on 12th February 1920 at London , he is shown as Thomas Walter Harrison of 22 Flamborough Road, Bridlington, Yorkshire, died 10th October 1918 at sea, his effects of £9362 12 shillings and 5 pence were left to his widow Katie Ella Harrison.
10 Oct 1918
35
2894613 - CWGC Website
Lieutenant
1/4th Bn Lincolnshire Regiment
He enlisted at Lincoln's Inn, London, in May 1915, and after initial training with the Inns of Court Officer Training Corps, he was commissioned to the Lincolnshire Regiment three months later. He left for France the same month. On 9 June 1917, during attacks on Lens, he was uncomfortably close to a bursting shell: diagnosed with shell shock, he was treated in various hospitals before being examined at Lievin in July 1918 and declared fit for home service. He was on board the unarmed ship Leinster when it was torpedoed on the 10th October 1918 and sunk and was seen on its decks just prior to its sinking. He is commemorated on the Hollybrook Memorial Southampton and the War Memorial at St Marys Church, Horncastle.
The following is an extract from the Magnus School, Newark diary of the Great War :- Thursday 10 October 1918: Old Magnusians Alfred Ford and Thomas Walter Harrison were among 501 people to perish when the Irish mail boat, the Leinster, was torpedoed 16 miles out of Kingstown (Dun Laoghaire) on the way to Holyhead. Like many more of the casualties, they were on the way home on leave on the defenceless vessel. It went down in history as the greatest ever loss of life in the Irish Sea and the highest ever casualty rate on an Irish owned ship. Alfred – the husband of Sarah Beatrice Ford and father of Amy Beatrice at 25 Stebbing Street, Notting Hill, London, and third son of the late Francis Ford, a pioneering coach builder, and Annie Ford of 34b Appletongate, Newark – enlisted aged 18 years and four months in March 1900, was promoted to Lance-Corporal in 1903, Corporal in 1906, Sergeant in 1909 and Company Quartermaster Sergeant on 5 March 1917; and transferred to 502 Company on 28 July 1917. He is remembered in Grangegorman Military Cemetery, Dublin. Thomas Harrison, born 1883, attended the Magnus though his parents lived at Kelstern Grange near Louth in Lincolnshire; and set about a career in law while settling with his wife, Katie Ella, in Horncastle. He enlisted at Lincoln's Inn, London, in May 1915, and after initial training with the Inns of Court Officer Training Corps, he was commissioned to the Lincolnshire Regiment three months later. He left for France the same month. On 9 June 1917, during attacks on Lens, he was uncomfortably close to a bursting shell: diagnosed with shell shock, he was treated in various hospitals before being examined at Lievin in July 1918 and declared fit for home service. Attached to 2/1st Battalion Queen's Own Yorkshire Dragoons at Bantry. When the Leinster was torpedoed, Thomas acted instinctively with heroic fortitude and assisted in handing women over the side of the stricken ship to the waiting lifeboats below, and was seen on deck just prior to the Leinster going down. He is remembered on the Hollybrook Memorial, Southampton; the Magnus War Memorial and the War Memorial at St. Mary's Church, Horncastle. The loss of Royal Mail Ship LEINSTER The Royal Mail Ship "Leinster" was owned by the City of Dublin Steam Packet Company. Built by Cammell Laird of Birkenhead in 1897, it was torpedoed in the Irish Sea, 16 miles east of Dublin, shortly before 10am on the morning of Thursday 10th October 1918, on its outbound journey of 100km [68 miles] from Kingstown [now Dun Laoghaire], Dublin, to Holyhead, Anglesey, North Wales. The following numbers are those noted some years ago, and are now known to be incorrect. It had 771 persons on board, which included, 77 crew and 695 passengers, of whom there were, 180 civilians, 22 postal sorters, 493 military personnel. Amongst this latter group were military medical staff of doctors and nurses from many of the commonwealth nations. The Leinster was sunk by torpedoes fired from a German submarine, UB-123, which was commanded by 27 year old Oberleutnant Robert Ramm. The first missed, but two others hit the vessel. The second hit the Mail Room, and the third hit the Engine Room. 8 days later on 18 October 1918, during its return to Germany, UB-123 hit a mine in the North Sea and sank with the loss of the entire crew of 2 officers and 33 men. Their bodies were never recovered. Official lists prepared at the time record that 501 persons died when the Leinster sank, but more recent research suggests that the figure is over 550. Contemporary newspaper and shipping company reports indicate that 256 individuals were rescued, not all of whom survived. Not all of the bodies were recovered. Of those that were, some were not found immediately, and due to the currents in the Irish Sea they came ashore in Ireland, Northern Ireland, Scotland, Isle of Man, England and Wales. It is now thought likely that there were at least 552 casualties 37 crew. 143 civilians. 350 military personnel. 21 postal workers. Above is taken from the Find a Grave website.
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  • Whose name is commemorated on the Hollybrook Wr Memorial, in Southampton 
Courtesy CWGC
    Thomas Walter Harrison - Whose name is commemorated on the Hollybrook Wr Memorial, in Southampton Courtesy CWGC