JACOBS, Thomas

No. J/29617, Boy 1st Class, Thomas JACOBS
Aged 17

Royal Navy, HMS Clan McNaughton
Missing at Sea on Wednesday, 3rd February 1915

Thomas is not named on the Eriswell Memorial but was recorded as born in and a native of Eriswell

Thomas JACOBS was born in Eriswell on 10th January 1898(Mildenhall Q1-1898 4A:844) son of Joseph John and Maria JACOBS (née RUMBELOW).

1901 census... Aged 3 he was living at West End, Wrentham with his father Joseph JACOBS [28] horsekeeper on farm, born Tuddenham St Mary; his mother Maria [32] born Mildenhall; brother George [7] born Tuddenham St Mary; brother William [4] born Eriswell; brother Joseph J. [1] born Eriswell and uncle Robert JACOBS [22] born Tuddenham St Mary.

1911 census... Aged 13, a farm labourer, he was at Heath Farm, Linton with his parents (father a farm foreman) brothers George and William both farm labourers, brother Joseph still at school and new brothers, Arthur Frederick [6], Albert John [4] and Charles Henry {1] who all were born in Linton. One child had died.

Presumably because the family had moved to Linton he was not nominated for inclusion on the war memorial at Eriswell, he is however named at Linton.

The official cause of death was given as "Killed or died by means other than disease, accident or enemy action". The Clan McNaughton was a passenger/cargo vessel of 5,000 tons, launched in 1911 and owned by Clan Line Steamers Ltd of Glasgow. She was converted for use as an auxiliary cruiser.
Commanded by Commander R J Jefferys she was on patrol on 3rd February 1915 off NW Scotland, in a severe gale. The ship with her 20 officers and 261 ratings was never heard of again.
Such was the state of affairs at the time, it was alleged that fitting naval guns had de-stabilised the vessel, her crew on that patrol were for the most part very inexperienced sailors and that with the very bad weather she had simply foundered. Some wreckage was found, but no bodies were recovered.

The Clan McNaughton before conversion for military use

© Commonwealth War Graves Commission

Thomas Jacobs is commemorated on the Royal Navy Memorial at Chatham, panel 10

click here to go to the Commonwealth War Graves Commission website for full cemetery/memorial details