Biography of Able Seaman Tom Knowles (J.12111)
HM Torpedo Boat No 7
Died 10th October 1914


  • Name: Tom Knowles
  • Date of birth: 4th July 1893
  • Place of Birth: Folkingham, Lincolnshire, England
  • Date of Birth Registration: July – September 1893
  • Place of Birth Registration: Bourne, Lincolnshire, England


  • Name: William Knowles
  • DOB: 1857
  • Place of Birth: Aslackby, Lincolnshire, England
  • Occupation: Wheelwright


  • Name: Jane Hubbard
  • DOB: 1859
  • Place Of Birth: Morton (Bourne) Lincolnshire, England
  • Marriage: 1881 Bourne District

Siblings: (Name), (DOB), (POB)

  • George Knowles, 1882, Nottingham
  • Arthur Knowles, 1884, Dowsby
  • William Knowles, 1886, Folkingham
  • Henry Knowles, 1889, Folkingham
  • Kate Knowles, 1891, Folkingham
  • Tom Knowles, 1893, Folkingham
  • Bessie Knowles, 1895, Newton
  • Walter Knowles, 1898, Folkinghm


  • 1901: Tom is living with his parents at No. 4 The Old Prison, Folkingham, Lincolnshire.
  • 1911: Tom is living with his parents in Folkingham, Lincolnshire. The census gives him an age of 17 and he is listed as a labourer on farm.

Relatives in services

  • Tom’s brother Henry also fought and was killed in WW1. Henry can be found on our page dedicated to the Bourne War Memorial.


  • No marriage for Tom has been found and because of his age we can assume that he never had the opportunity to marry.

Newspaper Mentions

  • Grantham Journal Saturday 17th October 1914
    BEREAVEMENT – Mrs. Jane Knowles, of this villiage received the news this week that “Tom Knowles, able seaman, No. J. 12111, belonging to his Majesty’s ship Torpedo Boat No. 7, was lost overboard and drowned on the 10th.”  He was 21 years of age.  There are two other sons – Arthur, a gunner in the Royal Field Artillery, and Sergeant Harry Knowles, 2nd Lincolnshires, who has only just recently returned from Bermuda.  Both are fighting with the Expeditionary Force.


  • Lincolnshire Echo Wednesday 21 October 1914
    ROLL OF HONOUR. – Five Bourne district men have shed their blood for their country in the present war.  They are: Private J. H. Cannell (Dowsby), Duke of Cornwal’s Light Infantry; Lce.-Corpl, Tuckwood, a native of Langtoft, Lincolnshire Regiment; Sergt. Bates, of Bourne, Lincolnshire Regiment; Private E. Head, a native of Billingborough, ambulance section grenadier Guards; Able Seaman Tom Knowles, of Morton, torpedo boat No 7 drowned.  Those who have answered the call of their country from Dowsby are Privates John Cannell (killed in action), Arthur Hill, Bert Taylor, Ted Markham, ernest Featherston, Sam Jackson, Elma Pateman, and Fred Beehoo.


    • Grantham Journal Saturday 24 October 1914
      THE WAR. In addition to names of those already mentioned in the making of soldiers’ and sailors’ garments are to be added Mrs. Wright, Mrs. H. R. Taylor, Mrs. E. A. Hampton, Mrs. W. Wyer, Mrs. A. Barnard, Mrs. A. Daff, and Miss Ada Codington.  Five men from this district have now died for their country, Viz:- Pte. J. H. Cannell (Duke of Cornwall’s Light Infantry), Sergt. Bates, of Bourne (Lincolnshire Regiment) Lance-Corporal Tuckwood, native of Langtoft (Lincolnshire Regiment), Pte. E. Head, native of Billingborough (Ambulance Section, Grenadier Guards), Able Seaman Tom Knowles, of Morton (No. 7 Torpedo Boat), drowned.


    • Grantham Journal Saturday 10th April 1915
      SAD NEWS – On Wednesday evening, Mr and Mrs Knowles had the sad news from the War Office that their son, Lance-Sergt. Harry Knowles, had died in hospital in France from the effectof gunshot wound in the chest.  This was an awful shock to the parents, who had only a day before received a letter from their son, written on Easter day, saying he hoped to be in England in a forenight.  The sympathy of the whole village goes out to the bereaved family.  This is the second son Mr. and Mrs. Knowles have lost in the war. 

    Military Records

    Attestation Papers

    • Available

    Soldier’s Died In The Great War

    • None found

    Pension Records

    • None found

    Effects Left To

    • None found


    • The British Medal
    • The Victory Medal
    • The Star


    • UK:
    • Bourne, Roll of Honour in Bourne Abbey Church
    • Bourne War Memorial in the Memorial Gardens


    • Commonwealth War Graves Commission:
    • In memory of Able Seaman Tom Knowles, J/12111, H.M.T.B. “No. 7”, Royal Navy who died on 10 October 1914
    • Remembered with honour, Chatham Naval Memorial
    • Panel 2

    © Picture taken by South Lincolnshire War Memorials

    © Picture taken by South Lincolnshire War Memorials

    Military Service Timeline

    • Washed overboard from Torpedo Boat in the vicinity of North Knock Buoy, Thames Estuary.
      Body never recovered for burial.


    • This is ongoing research and will be posted when completed


    • WW1 Soldier’s Records (
    • British Newspaper Archive.
    • Fold 3
    • Find My Past
    • Genealogist
    • Forces War Records
    • British Army Service Numbers
    • War Gratuity Calculator
    • Commonwealth War Graves Commission
    • National Archives – Battalion War Diaries
    • General Registry Office