Mr. Thomas Henry Richards

Thomas Henry Richards, 40, of  Meaderville, Montana, near Butte, was a naturalized United States citizen.  He was married to Phillipa "Phyllis" Conner, who was not naturalized.  They had three children, Thomas Percy, Cecil Harry, and Dora Millicent.  The children were all born in Montana. The Richards family was on its way to Cornwall during the last voyage of the Lusitania.  Their cabin on board was D-80. On 7 May 1915, the torpedo had struck Lusitania while the Richards family was at lunch in the second class dining room. The Richards family stayed there until the room was nearly empty. Thomas retrieved lifebelts for himself, Phyllis, Cecil, and Percy, but they could not find a lifebelt that would fit their infant daughter, Dora. The Richards family went up to the second cabin boat deck, standing against the bulkhead outside the second cabin lounge entrance, until the ship sank from under them. The final wave swept Dora out of the arms of her parents. Thomas managed to hold on to Cecil, but Percy was swept away and towards overturned lifeboat 22. Thomas, Phyllis, Percy, and Cecil all survived, but Dora was swept out to sea and lost.  Thomas wrote several letters home about his Lusitania experience. Contributors: Jim Kalafus Michael Poirier Jean Richards Timmermeister - contact Judith Tavares

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