REMEMBRANCE DISPATCH NO. 30 COMMEMORATES SECOND MATE LEWIS MARLES THOMAS (SCHOOL HOUSE 1888-1890) WHO DIED AT SEA WHILE ON ACTIVE SERVICE ON 29TH APRIL 1917.
Lewis William Marles Thomas, born in Llandyssul, Cardinganshire, was the grandson of the Welsh radical, writer and schoolmaster, the Reverend William Thomas. Better known by his bardic name, ‘Gwilym Marles’, he died the same year as Lewis was born.
Lewis entered school House in 1888 and was at Christ College until 1890. After school he served in the Mercantile Marine (later renamed the Merchant Navy). When war broke out Lewis returned home from China to offer his services to the Government.
Lewis was employed as Second Mate on the cargo steamer SS Daleby, one of many civilian ships commandeered by the Admiralty. On 5th April 1917 the Daleby left Huelva in south western Spain with a cargo of copper and silver ore bound for Merseyside.
At 3pm on a clear afternoon on 29th April 1917, the Daleby was torpedoed off the coast of Ireland without warning by the German submarine U-70. The steamer was struck twice; the second torpedo blew up all the life-boats and the ship sank immediately. Only two crewmen survived the attack and Lewis was one of the 26 crewmen to die.
Second Mate Lewis William Marles Thomas is remembered on the Tower Hill Memorial and the Aberystwyth War Memorial as well as on the Christ College War Memorial.
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