Born: 31st December 1869, Ipswich.
Died: 1st January 1915; age 46; KiA at sea – English Channel with submarine.
Baptised: 3rd February 1889,at Walmer, Kent. Parents: Jonathan & Jane Croxson.
Enlistment: Location: Chatham. Entered the Royal Navy – 31st July 1888. Signed up for 12 years – 17th November 1898. Height: 5ft 7 1/2ins, fresh complexion, hazel eys & brown hair. Tattoo of cross and EB, anchor & dots on left arm. A ring on middle finger of left hand. A dot on left leg, and an anchor on the back of left wrist.
Pembroke – Probation – Ship’s Corporal 2nd Class – 17th November 1898 – 16th January 1899
Theseus – Probation – Ship’s Corporal 2nd Class – 17th January 1899
Theseus – Ship’s Corporal 2nd Class – 29th June 1899 – 28th May 1902
Pembroke I – Ship’s Corporal 1st Class – 29th May 1902 – 5th November 1902
Britannia – Ship’s Corporal 1st Class – 6th November 1902 – 22nd May 1905
Durham – Ship’s Corporal 1st Class – 23rd May 1905 – 23rd August 1905
Roxburgh – Ship’s Corporal 1st Class – 24th August 1905 – 2nd September 1907
Pembroke I – Ship’s Corporal 1st Class – 3rd September 1907 – 30th July 1910 – shore.
Sutley – Ship’s Corporal 1st Class – 14th July 1914 – 25th July 1914 – shore.
Pembroke – Ship’s Corporal 1st Class – 2nd August 1914 – 5th November 1914
Formidable – Ship’s Corporal 1st Class – 6th November 1914 – 1st January 1915.
Rank: Ship’s Corporal 1st Class; Service Number: 350161.
Regiment: Royal Navy, H.M.S. ‘Formidable’.
Medals Awarded: Long Service & Good Conduct medals – 27th November 1903.
Relatives Notified & Address: Son of Jonathan & Jane Croxson, of Ipswich; husband of the late Mary Ann Croxson; father to Ethel M. Croxson, of 29, Surrey Road, Ipswich.
1871 Britannia Road, Ipswich.
Thomas was a year old and living with his parents, siblings & maternal aunt.
Jonathan Croxson, 28, a Bricklayer’s Labourer, born Falkenham, Suffolk.
Jane Croxson (nee Spurgeon), 30, a Laundress, born Dickleburgh, Norfolk.
Amelia Alice Croxson, 7, born Dickleburgh.
Arthur Edward Croxson, 4, born Ipswich.
Emily Spurgeon, 23, a Machinist, born Dickleburgh.
1881 Poplar Cottage, Cauldwell Hall Road, Ipswich.
Thomas was 12 years old and living with his parents & siblings.
Jonathan, 38, a Builder’s Labourer.
Arthur, 15, a Carrier.
George Frederick Croxson, 10, born Ipswich.
Ernest John Croxson, 6, born Ipswich.
William Peter Croxson, 4, born Ipswich.
Maud Mary Croxson, 1, born Ipswich.
In 1901 Thomas’s wife & daughter were living at 26, Elliott Street, Ipswich. The home of Mary Ann’s parents & siblings.
John Hindle, 60, a Shoe Maker, born Norwich, Norfolk.
Harriet Hindle, 58, a Charwomen, born Norwich.
Frederick Hindle, 21, a Boilermaker’s Striker, born Ipswich.
Harriet Hindle, 19, a Staymaker’s Machinist, born Ipswich.
Ethel Hindle, 17, a Staymaker’s Machinist, born Ipswich.
Kate Hindle, a Staymaker’s Machinist, born Ipswich.
Mary Ann Croxson, 28, Living on own Means.
Ethel Croxson, 3.
In 1911, Thomas’s daughter was a Pupil at a school for Daughter’s of Gentlemen – Somerville House, 5-6, Cumberland Garden’s, St. Leonards on Sea, East Sussex. School Principal – Louisa Cupper.
Ethel was 13 years old, she was 1 of 16 girls.
On the 26th October 1896, St. Matthew’s Church, Ipswich, Thomas married Mary Ann Hindle, of 156, Cauldwell Hall Road, Ipswich, born 1872, Ipswich – died 1908, Ipswich.
They had 1 daughter:
Ethel May Croxson, born 1898, Barking, Essex.
1st January 1915
H.M.S. ‘Formidable’. Pre-dreadnought class battleships. Launched in November 1998 and finished September 1901.
1914 Formidable served in the English Channel, based at Sheerness to guard against a possible German invasion, she covered the crossing of the British Expeditionary Force to France.
On the 31st December, the squadron was conducting training exercises off the Isle of Portland in the English Channel, when the German submarine U-24 torpedoed her at 02:20hrs, striking her on the starboard side abreast of the forward funnel. A second torpedo was fired at 03:05hrs hitting her in the starboard side close to her bow.
Heavy seas made it very difficult to rescue the crew. At 04:45hrs she began to capsize and sink.
It is estimated that 547 of the crew perished, 157 men were saved by military and civilian craft.
Three other Ipswich men were killed:
Petty Officer ALBERT EDWARD PIPE aged 31.
Registered 100, Dover Road, Ipswich.
Stoker First Class WILLIAM JOHN PORTER aged 21.
Registered 27, Sirdar Road, Bramford Road, Ipswich.
Able Seaman WILLIAM JOHN NEWSON aged 30.
Registered 16, Bond Street, Ipswich.
In 1915 The Suffolk Chronicle & Mercury newspaper reported Petty Officer Albert James Snell of Ipswich was saved.