Thomas James Bigsby

Military Information

  • Date of enlistment:
  • Place of enlistment:
  • Service no: 237417
  • Rank: Leading Seaman
  • Service Occupation:
  • Awards:
  • Regiment/Service: Royal Navy
  • Unit/Ship: H.M Submarine E-50
  • Place of Death: Lost at Sea
  • Age at Death: 27
  • Date of Death: 31.01.1918
  • Burial Country:
  • Cemetery: Portsmouth Naval Memorial
  • Grave/Mem Ref no: Panel 29

Personal Information

  • Date of Birth:
  • Place of Birth: Tottenham, London
  • Address: 124 Seagate, Dundee
  • Occupation:
  • Mother:

    Annie Bella Bigsby, 16 Bell Lane, Hendon, London

  • Father:

    Charles Bigsby, 16 Bell Lane, Hendon, London

  • Siblings:
  • Spouse:

    Mary Wighton Bigsby, 124 Seagate, Dundee and 2538 Greenmount Ave, Baltimore, Md, U.S.A.

  • Children:

    Thomas, born 10.05.1916

More about Thomas James Bigsby

Thomas has no known grave but is remembered on the Portsmouth Naval Memorial. He was serving aboard Submarine E-50, a British E-Class Sub built by John Brown of Clydebank. She sailed from Harwich 21.01.1918 on patrol, and it is believed that she struck a mine off South Dogger Light Vessel, 31.01.1918 with the loss of all hands.

Gary Thomson

Thomas J Bigsby was the son of Mr Charles Henry and Mrs Annie Bella Bigsby of 16 Bell Lane, Hendon, London and was married to Mrs Mary W Bigsby of 124 Seagate, Dundee and of 2538, Greenmount Avenue, Baltimore, USA. He joined the Royal Navy in 1906 as a Boy and trained at HMS Ganges. After service in several surface ships he transferred to submarines in 1912 and his submarine was attached to HMS Vulcan at Dundee. He served in submarines throughout the war and was promoted to Leading Seaman in June 1916. HM Submarine E50 failed to return from patrol in January 1918 but probably struck a mine in the North Sea and all the crew were lost. The wreck was located in 2011 about 50 miles of the Danish Coast. The conning tower from E 50 was in a very bad state, when it was rediscovered by a Danish expedition in 2011.The tower was already torn off the hull and was laying isolated on the seabed, seriously damaged by heavy fishing gear. The Danish team decided to raise the remnants in order to prevent complete destruction and were able to do so in compliance with international law. Afterwards the tower went through a very comprehensive restoration, and since 2015 it has been on display at Sea War Museum Jutland in Thybor√łn, where also the 31 men, who lost their life in the submarine, are commemorated on a plaque in front of the conning tower Thomas Bigsby is also commemorated on the Portsmouth Naval Memorial on Southsea Common in Hampshire.

Iain Stewart and Iain Birnie

Information supplied by Gary Thomson.

Further information supplied by Iain Stewart and Iain Birnie

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