Mr. Thomas Boyce King

Thomas B. King, 49, was a United States citizen from Rye, New York, United States, and a woolen buyer from Brokaw Brothers at 22 Astor Place traveling with colleague James Leary. They were on a semi-annual buying trip. King's ticket for Lusitania was 46064 and he stayed in cabin B-14. King was on the port side of the ship with Leary when the ship was sinking. Leary survived, but King died. King's body was recovered, #61, and returned to the United States where he is buried in Greenwood Union Cemetery in Rye, New York.

Last voyage of the Lusitania


King and Leary were not aware of the German warning that British ships such as Lusitania could be attacked until they had boarded the ship. They saw the lifeboat drill one morning, where 10 to 12 men jumped in and out of a lifeboat on the starboard side. Observing this, King remarked to Leary, "How would you like to take your chances with that crowd in case we are torpedoed?" On the day of the disaster, King and Leary lunched with Alexander Campbell, James Battersby, and Charles Hardwick. Their table was three tables from the entrance. King excused himself immediately after lunch to take his medications, while the other four sat in the dining room and conversed.

Torpedoed


On the boat deck, King met up with Leary, who had just taken a lifejacket from a crew member who refused to help Leary. When King and Leary met, Leary said, "Well, Tom, we finally got it." "Yes," King answered, "I knew it all the way over." Leary started to put on his lifejacket upside-down, but a more level-headed passenger helped him fix it, saying "If you got in the water that way you would be feet up". King and Leary were standing below the captain's bridge on the port side. They saw Staff Captain Anderson was standing on a little bridge, shouting instructions to the seamen, one of them being, "lower no more boats. We have closed certain bulkheads in the ship and she won't sink, and we can get into port." Leary went down to his cabin and unsuccessfully tried to get his belongings from Purser McCubbin. King and Leary met again on the port side boat deck. Near a lifeboat, they had to lean up against the wall due to the list. Leary heard how a seaman hacked off the fingers of a man desperate to get into a lifeboat with an ax. Leary said to King, "I think we had better take our chances on deck" so they did not try for that lifeboat. A few minutes later there was another explosion, which was probably the boilers exploding. Soot and coal dust covered everyone on deck, and the ship plunged into the water. Thomas King was lost in the Lusitania disaster. His body returned to New York City on the ocean liner New York on Monday, 24 May 1915. His funeral was held at Christ’s Church, Rye, New York, on Tuesday 25 May 1915, after the 10:05 a.m. train arrived with his body from Grand Central Terminal. King is buried in Greenwood Union Cemetery in Rye, New York, near where he lived with his wife, Anna (then 34 years of age), and son Thomas Boyce King, Jr. (then almost 12 years of age). On 23 August 1916, Anna remarried to a British citizen named Samuel Stansfield, who lived only until 24 January 1923. Upon his death, Samuel Stansfield was buried beside Mr. King. Anna King Stansfield died in 1946 and now rests with both of her husbands. Thomas B. King, Jr. died in November 1974 in Yonkers, New York at age 71.

Related pages


Thomas Boyce King at the Mixed Claims Commission

Links of interest


Encyclopedia Titanica: Lest We Forget – Part 2
Contributors: Jim Kalafus, USA Michael Poirier, USA Judith Tavares References: Hickey, Des and Gus Smith.  Seven Days to Disaster.  G. P. Putnam's Sons, 1981. Kalafus, Jim and Michael Poirier (2005) Lest We Forget Part 2:  As the Lusitania Went Down ET Research. <http://www.encyclopedia-titanica.org/lusitania-lest-we-forget-2.html> Preston, Diana.  Lusitania:  An Epic Tragedy.  Berkley Books, 2002.

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