Mr. Thomas Sumner

Thomas Sumner was a British subject and second cabin passenger aboard Lusitania who lived in Quincy, Massachusetts, United States. He survived the sinking of the Lusitania, where he swam to a raft in the water and was rescued by the Indian Empire. After the sinking, Sumner corresponded with Mary Garry, the mother of the ship's assistant surgeon, Dr. Joseph Garry. After Mary sent Sumner a picture of Joseph, and Sumner thought the picture looked like someone who he had met in the water. After the Lusitania sank, Sumner swam to a raft when he saw a young doctor approach, swimming with much difficulty and much exhausted. The man got on the raft he told them he was a doctor and gave instructions on what to do with the people who were unconscious. They were rescued by the Indian Empire, and while aboard, Sumner saw a lady who was badly hurt. Sumner went to look for the doctor and could find no trace of him. Sumner did not recall any accidents between being on the raft and getting rescued, so what happened to the young doctor after that remains a mystery. Mary Garry was not as certain that the man Sumner met was his son, as she was sure her son could not swim.

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Letter from Mary Garry concerning Dr. Joseph Garry, Thomas Sumner, and Grace French, dated 23 February 1916
Contributors: Anthony Richards, UK References: Letter from Mary Garry to Mrs. Prichard, dated 23 February 1916, Imperial War Museum Collection.

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