Thomas Aldwinckle

Name Thomas Aldwinckle
Corps Mercantile Marine
Service No.  
Date/Place of entry  
Date of death 1960

Thomas Aldwinckle was born in 1878 in Corby, the first child of Harry Aldwinckle and his wife Sarah nee Bailey.
Harry was born in 1850 in Rothwell, the third of eight children. His father Vincent was from Cottingham, the twin brother of Bartholomew Aldwinckle. Vincent got married in 1845 in the City of London by special licence and afterwards kept an inn on Rothwell market place. It appears his fortunes declined as in subsequent census he was employed as a labourer in Corby and Weldon, and on one occasion was convicted of laying snares.

Harry married Sarah Bailey at Corby in 1877 and had two sons there, Thomas and  Harry, before moving to Poplar in London’s East End. Sarah died there in 1883 and three years afterwards Harry married a widow with two sons, Harriet Barnes. They had another seven children, all born at Grays in Thurrock between 1887 and 1907. Grays is on the north bank of the Thames, close to Tilbury and Harry found work as a labourer in the docks.

Thomas married Harriett Eades in 1899 and was also employed at the docks, as a coal porter in 1901. By 1911 however he had joined the merchant navy and was a fireman, away at sea at census time. Despite his marine career he and Harriett had thirteen children (according to a family tree on the Ancestry website). Those born after 1910 can be traced, as the maiden names of mothers were included in birth indexes for the first time from this date. It seems that Thomas was the only one of Harry’s sons to marry locally and stay in Grays, so all Aldwinckle births registered from 1910 onwards in the district of Orsett will be descended through him.

Unsurprisingly Thomas continued serving in the Merchant Navy during the war but the only record of his service is in the medal rolls which do not state which ships he served on. He survived the war but his brother Harry Aldwinckle, also a merchant seaman, was killed in 1918. Two of their half – brothers George Robert Aldwinckle and Walter Aldwinckle also served in the Merchant Navy.

Thomas and Harriett suffered a major tragedy in World War II when three of their grandchildren died during a bombing raid. The area of Essex that includes Grays was one of the most heavily bombed in the UK because of its close proximity to Tilbury docks. The local paper reported: 'On the night of Wednesday 29th January 1941, two heavy bombs fell on Grays. One landed at the cottage end of Bridge Road, which tore apart many of the cottages including number 14.’ Doris Aldwinckle, wife of Thomas and Harriett’s son George, was killed instantly along with their three children, George aged ten, Kenneth aged three, and Alan aged two.  

Thomas died in 1960 and his wife Harriett in 1952.

For an account of the historic extended Aldwinckle family see John Bartholomew Aldwinckle. The following list gives the names of all known servicemen who were descended from Aldwinckles living Cottingham and Middleton in the nineteenth century.

(I also have information on a further five servicemen descended from the Aldwinckle family of Drayton in Leicestershire whose ancestors moved there from Cottingham in the eighteenth century. They are Ernest Aldwinckle, George Harry Aldwinckle, William Harold Aldwinckle, Herbert Aldwinckle and William James Aldwinckle. Please contact me <> if you would like to know more.)

Servicemen descended from Thomas Aldwinckle (1816-1899):
William Augustus Aldwinckle, Ralph Aldwinckle and Ernest Henry Aldwinckle.

Servicemen descended from Henry Aldwinckle (1770-1842):
John Bartholomew Aldwinckle, Charles Henry Aldwinckle, Arthur Edwin Aldwinckle, Frederick Wade Coles, Albert Edward Aldwinckle, Archibald Aldwinckle, Frank Aldwinckle, Harry Aldwinckle, William John Aldwinckle,  Harry Aldwinckle, George Robert Aldwinckle, Thomas Aldwinckle and Walter Aldwinckle.

Servicemen descended from William Aldwinckle (1807-1891):
Bartle Essex Aldwinckle, Charles Reginald Burdett, Alfred Norman Burdett and William Edward Burdett.

Servicemen descended from John Aldwinckle (1817-1884):
John Aldwinckle, Percy Aldwinckle, Henry Aldwinckle and Bernard Aldwinckle.