Thomas Ormrod


S.S. Lusitania

The Commonwealth War Graves Commission Debt of Honour Register records that Thomas was a greaser aboard S.S. "Lusitania" (Liverpool) and a member of the Mercantile Marine.

Thomas was killed, aged 40, on 7 May 1915, when the S.S. Lusitania was torpedoed by a German submarine. Thomas' brother, James Ormrod, was also killed when the Lusitania was sunk.

Thomas was the son of the late Thomas and Mary Ormrod, and the husband of Ann Jane Ormrod (née Evans), of 89A St Domings Rd, Everton, Lancashire. He was born in Liverpool.

Both Thomas and his brother, James, are remembered on the Tower Hill Memorial, London, which commemorates men and women of the Merchant Navy and Fishing Fleets who died in both World Wars and who have no known grave. It stands on the south side of the garden of Trinity Square, London, close to The Tower of London.

The following information is from reports of the sinking of the Lusitania,  which appeared in The Illustrated War News, published in Britain during the First World War.

"The great Cunard liner 'Lusitania' was torpedoed and sunk by a German submarine, or submarines, on May 7 [1915] off Kinsale, on the south coast of Ireland, while homeward bound from New York to Liverpool. There were nearly 2000 on board, including passengers and crew, and many lives were lost. Among the passengers were a number of well-known people, British and American. A week before the outrage the German embassy in Washington advertised in the American press a general warning to travellers by ship in British waters, and it is said that many of the 'Lusitania's' passengers were warned personally. Built in 1906, at Clydebank, the ship was 785 feet long, with a gross tonnage of 40,000.

The 'Lusitania' sank about twenty minutes after she was torpedoed, leaving the waters crowded with wreckage and people struggling for life. One survivor, who jumped out of the boat he was in because it was sinking, said, describing the scene: 'I saw a number of people scrambling out of the boat I had just left, and in a short time it completely turned over. There was another boat very heavily laden, some distance away, and a number of contrivances which appeared to be small rafts. Altogether I should think there were about ten or a dozen boats or rafts afloat. The steward and I floated about clasping our keg for at least an hour."

The Lusitania

This photograph shows her prior to August 1914, when her funnels, bridge and fittings were painted war-grey.

(Illustrated War News)

The Sinking of the Lusitania

Drawn by Norman Wilkinson from material supplied to him by a survivor, Mr Thomas K. Turpin, of Victoria, British Columbia

(Illustrated War News)

Thomas Ormrod and his brother, James Ormrod, commemorated with other casualties from the sinking of the Lusitania, on the Tower Hill Memorial, London
The First World War section of the Tower Hill Memorial, London