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Christopher Thompson (1895-1917)

South Shields man served as a stoker in the Royal Naval Reserve on HMS Drake

Christopher Thompson was born on 3 January 1895 in South Shields. His father was William Thompson (born 1869), a local tugboat engine-man. His mother was Sarah Thompson nee Robson (born 1871), also from South Shields. His parents married about 1890 and the 1911 census records that they had had nine children up to this date. Eight of these were still alive in 1911. Of the surviving children Christopher had four brothers and three sisters. In 1901 the Thompson family lived at 12 Bath Street, South Shields. By 1911 they were living at 2 Fort Street, South Shields and Christopher was working as an apprentice boat builder.

Christopher was a member of the Royal Naval Reserve (RNR) with the service number S/6519. During the war he served as a stoker. He was serving on the cruiser HMS Drake on 2 October 1917 when it was sunk by German submarine U79 in the Northern Channel off Rathlin Island, Northern Ireland. It was torpedoed striking the No 2 Boiler Room which caused two engine rooms and the boiler room to flood. Eighteen crew including Christopher were lost. His body was not recovered for burial and he is honoured on the Chatham Naval Memorial.

Christopher Thompson was awarded the Victory Medal and the British War Medal for his service in World War One.

Civil Parish: South Shields

Birth date: 03-Jan-1895

Death date: 02-Oct-1917

Armed force/civilian: Navy

Residence: 12 Bath Street, South Shields (1901 census)
2 Fort Street, South Shields (1911 census)

Employment: Apprentice Boat Builder (1911 census)

Family: Parents: William Thompson (b 1869), Sarah Thompson nee Robson (b 1871)
Siblings: Barbara Thompson (b 1891), William Thompson (b 1898), Emma Thompson (b 1901), Albert Thompson (b 1903), Isabella Thompson (b 1905), James Thompson (b 1907), Thomas Thompson (b 1909)

Military service:

Royal Naval Reserve
Service Number S/6519
HMS Drake

Medal(s): Victory Medal
British War Medal

Memorial(s): Chatham Naval Memorial

Gender: Male

Contributed by David D, Stanley, Co Durham

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