Harry was born on 8th December 1893 in St Marks, Reading. At the age of 7, during the 1901 census, Thomas lived with his parents Thomas and Emily and younger sisters Florence, Amy and Ivy at 4 Hart Street, St Mary's Parish, Reading.
10 years followed and on the night of the 1911 census Harry is listed aged 17, now the man of the house for his widowed mother, his father passing away aged just 41 in 1905. The family resided at 66 Curzon Street, Reading, the eldest daughter living elsewhere but Harry had another younger sister Lily to now help support.
He left his job as a labourer in a biscuit factory and joined the Royal Marine Artillery on 6th May 1912, his statistics recorded as 5'9" tall with brown hair and brown eyes. He trained at RMA Headquarters until 5th June 1913, rising to Gunner 2nd Class on 2nd February 1913 and Gunner on 12th April 1913.
He joined his first and only ship - HMS VANGUARD - on 6th June 1913, making her his home for the next 4 years, serving in the Battle of Jutland with the 4th Battle Squadron, the dreadnought and her crew coming through the event unscathed.
#254 - 804/843
1901 England Census - RG13; Piece: 1147; Folio: 9; Page: 7
UK, Commonwealth War Graves, 1914-1921
The National Archives - Royal Navy and Royal Marine War Graves Roll, 1914-1919, ADM 242/10; Scan Number: 0962
The National Archives - Royal Marines Registers of Service Index, 1842-1925
Photo - British Library - Reading Standard 4th Aug 1917/Stephen Rolls