[Skip to content]

Person Details
21 Feb 1895
Thomas was the son of Winifred Bright. Winifred was born in Worcester in 1874 (registered Apr/May/Jun) and baptised at St Peter's church, Worcester, on 7 June 1874. In 1901 when Thomas was six years old he was living with his mother a dressmaker, at Court 1, King William Street, Worcester, in the home of Winifred's parents, Thomas and Eliza Bright. By 1911 Winifred and Thomas were living in Nottingham at 10 Blackstone Street, Meadows, Nottingham. Only Winifred and Thomas were in the household on the night of the census. The census form, which would have been completed by Winifred, has a number of anomalies: Winifred (36) gave her surname as 'Powell' ('Cowell' on the transcription) and she described herself as married but the entry 'wife' was deleted and replaced with 'head of household'. She also included the information she had been married for 12 years and had had two children, both of whom had died. Thomas Bright (16) was described as her brother; Winifred appears to have been her parents' only surviving child (possible sibling, Thomas Bright b. Worcester 1869, died 1870 age 1 year). At the time of Thomas' death his mother was living at at 3 Allport Street, Waterway Street, Meadows, Nottingham. She was listed as 'Mrs W Powell' on his RN record. No evidence has been found of Winifred's marriage, and the notice of Thomas' death in the local paper describes him as the only child of 'Winifred Bright'. There is no record of Winifred Bright's death, but there is a record of the death of a Winifred Powell aged 51 (birth date 'about 1875') registered in Nottingham in March 1926 and this may be one and the same person.
Thomas was a litho printer at the time of the 1911 census and was still following the trade of printer when he joined the Royal Navy in 1914.
31 May 1916
2875886 - CWGC Website
Stoker 1st Class
HMS Queen Mary Royal Navy
Thomas was 19 years old when he joined the Royal Navy on 27 October 1914 on a 12 year engagement. He served in the following ships and establishments: Victory II 27 October 1914-12 June 1915 (Stoker 2nd Class); HMS Queen Mary 13 June 1915-31 May 1915 (Stoker 1st Class 6 January 1916). His service record was annotated 'NP 3925/1916. DD 31st May 1916. Killed in action.’ Thomas died at the Battle of Jutland. His body was not recovered for burial and he is commemorated on the Portsmouth Naval Memorial. Battle of Jutland. HMS Queen Mary (Captain CI Prowse) put to sea with the Battlecruiser Fleet (Vice-Admiral Sir David Beatty in HMS Lion) to intercept a sortie by the German High Seas Fleet into the North Sea. ‘As the Queen Mary fought back under the concentrated fire of Sydlitz and Derfflinger, observers saw three shells of a salvo of four strike home on her at 4.26, followed quickly by two more shells from the next salvo. As a tremendous flame of dark red burst from her and a pillar of smoke rose high into the air, she was rent apart by a shattering concussion as her magazines exploded … Her back broken, the gallant Queen Mary threw her stern into the air, her propellers still slowly revolving … then as further underwater explosions shook her, she plunged to the bottom.’ (‘Jutland’, Captain Donald MacIntyre RN, 1957) There were only a few survivors from a ship’s company of nearly 1300 men. The wreck was discovered in the North Sea in 1991; she is designated as a protected place under the Protection of Military Remains Act 1986.
Nottingham Evening Post notice (abridged), 17 June 1916: 'Bright. On May 31st 1st Class Stoker Thomas Frederick Bright only child of Winifred Bright who went down with HMS Queen Mary. Mother.'
Remembered on