Thomas William Mason


Thomas William Mason
26 November 1873


First World War

Date of Death / Age


Rank, Service Number & Service Details

Royal Marine Light Infantry
H.M.S. "Queen Mary."

Awards: Service Medals/Honour Awards

1914 /15 Star, British War and Victory medals

Cemetery/Memorial: Name/Reference/Country

United Kingdom

Headstone Inscription


UK & Other Memorials

St Mary's Church Memorial, Apsley End, John Dickinson & Co Memorial, Apsley Mills, Apsley, Hempstead Town Memorial, Not on the Apsley memorials, Not on the Northchurch memorials

Pre War

Thomas William Mason was born in Northchurch, Berkhamsted, Herts on 26 November 1873, the son of Alexander (Alec) and Emily Mason, and one of eleven children. On the 1881 Census they were living at Bourne End Lane, Northchurch, Berkhamsted.

The family moved to Boxmoor, nr Hemel Hempstead when Thomas was a child, and on the 1891 Census the family were living at 11 Caitlin Street., Hemel Hempstead and his father was working as a Railway Platelayer. 

When he left school he started work at John Dickinson & Co Ltd at Apsley Mills working as an Engine Cleaner, but on 26 April 1892 he left Dickinsons and enlisted in London with the Royal Marines (two years after his brother Alexander) and was sent to Walmer, Kent for training. He served for fifteen years before being discharged at his own request on 27 March 1909 and was transferred to the Royal Fleet Reserve. 

He married Mary Jane Harrington on 30 October 1909 at St John the Evangelist Church, Boxmoor, Herts. Mary was the younger sister of his brother Alec's wife Rebecca.  They had a daughter Mary born on 31 January 1911. 

He was employed at John Dickinson & Co, Apsley Mills prior to enlistment.  His widow's address was given as P.O. Apsley End, Herts on pension records. 

Wartime Service

Thomas re-enlisted on 21 August 1914 as a Royal Marine, having been recalled as a reservist and was posted to HMS Queen Mary. He was joined by his brother Alec the following month.

(N.B. The brothers had consecutive service numbers - PLY/16962 & PLY/16963). 

He was killed on 31 May 1916, aged 42, during the Battle of Jutland.  Queen Mary was initially hit by the German battlecruiser SMS Seydlitz and in the afternoon, the ship's magazines exploded after being hit twice by the German battlecruiser SMS Derfflinger. Queen Mary sunk in six minutes and 1266 crew were lost.  There were only 18 eighteen survivors.

Thomas has no known grave and his name is commemorated on the Plymouth Naval Memorial, Devon. 

Additional Information

His widow received a pension of 17s 6d a week for herself and her daughter. His brother Alexander was also killed in the Battle of Jutland whilst serving on the Queen Mary and is named on the Plymouth Naval Memorial. Thomas had five brothers who served in the war. His mother received a letter from the King earlier in the war, congratulating her on the fact that six of her sons were serving King and Country. (N.B. his father was listed as a patient in the Hertfordshire Convalescent Home in St Leonards, Hastings, Sussex, on the 1901 Census.)


Brenda Palmer
Jonty Wild,,,