Leading Telegraphist
Thomas William Bacon


About Thomas William

  • Name
    Thomas William
  • Initials
    T W
  • Surname
  • Date of Birth
    25 September 1895
  • Birth town
    Cromer, Norfolk
  • Resided town
  • Commemorated
    HMS Pembrooke and RN Signals School
  • Nationality
  • Place of death
  • Date of death
    5 June 1975
  • Married
  • Occupation

Service Information

  • Royal Navy

  • Service Number
  • Rank
    Leading Telegraphist
  • Ship
    HMS Marlborough


Thomas William Bacon was born on 25 September 1895, in the coastal town of Cromer to parents Thomas, Chief Stoker with the Royal Navy and Sarah Ann (née Payne). In 1901 Thomas, aged five was living at 22 Cabbell Road, Cromer with Thomas (39), a commercial clerk, Sarah Ann (39) and five-month-old brother, Harry.

The 1911 Census lists the family at the same address, now with two more children, George and Helen. Thomas Sr was described as a Royal Navy pensioner and pier attendant, and the family had a general servant.

Thomas Jr followed in his father’s naval footsteps, becoming a Boy Second Class at the age of 15, training on HMS Impregnable at Devonport, Plymouth. On his 18th birthday in September 1913, he enlisted for 12 years in the Royal Navy. His records show he had a birthmark above his left knee, and also that he was seconded to the US Navy for a short while, for which he was paid a special allowance.

During WWI Thomas served on HMS Marlborough, which was involved in the Battle of Jutland (31 May to 1 June 1916), where it was damaged by a torpedo but didn’t sink and was back in service by the end of July.   http://www.wartimememoriesproject.com/greatwar/ships/view.php?pid=1838

Along with at least six fellow seamen from HMS Marlborough, who all lived in the east of England, Thomas signed the visitors’ book as he passed through Peterborough East Station on 10 April 1917, possibly on his way home on leave.  He wrote “Very many thanks for kindest shown by the Ladies of “Sailors & Soldiers Rest.” Their kindness is greatly appreciated.”

Thomas appears to have finished the war as an Acting Chief Petty Officer Telegraphist.  For his service in WW1 he was awarded the Star, British War and Allied Victory Medals, receiving them while serving on HMS Egmont, a base ship in Malta.

Following the end of WW1, he remained in the Navy, being promoted to Chief Petty Officer Telegraphist in 1925, and gaining further promotions to Acting Warrant Telegraphist (1928), Commissioned Telegraphist (1939) and Lieutenant Telegraphist (1944). He served throughout WW2, his name being on the WW2 Naval Officers List on 19 April 1945 at the shore barracks HMS Pembroke and the Signals School, both at Chatham in Kent. His name appears in UK Navy Lists up to July 1949.

In the 1939 Register Thomas was living at 106 West View Road, Barrow-in-Furness, Lancashire and his occupation is listed as Commissioned Telegraphist Royal Navy Illustrious.  Also living at this address was Olive Agnes Watts whom he was to marry in the December quarter of 1939 at Barrow-in-Furness.  Olive was born in Norwich in 1909.

HMS Illustrious was a Fleet Aircraft Carrier built at Barrow-in-Furness by Vickers Armstrong; she was laid down on 27 April 1937 and launched on 5 April 1939.  She was commissioned for service at Portsmouth on 26 May 1940. http://www.naval-history.net/xGM-Chrono-04CV-Illustrious.htm

Thomas and Olive had two daughters, Diana (1947) and Christine (1950) both born near Southend at Rochford, Essex.

Thomas and Olive were living at 32 Grove Avenue, Costessey, Norwich when they died.  Olive on 8 June 1962, aged 53 and Thomas on 5 June 1975, aged 79.

Please get in touch if you can tell us more about Thomas.






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