Thomas Steele

Lieutenant Thomas Steele of the Royal Naval Reserve was born on 8 July 1890 in Monkstown, County Antrim. He was the youngest of Alexander and Anna Maria Steele’s three children. His sisters Isabella (born in 1887) and Margaret (born 1888) were born in Whiteabbey.
Thomas’ mother Anna died in a diabetic coma in 1892 (aged 32) in Dunbarton House Hospital, Gilford, County Down, leaving Alexander with three young children to take care of. In 1901 Alexander was living in the townland of Loughans, Tullylish (between Banbridge and Portadown).  He was working as a mechanical engineer in a factory and he, his parents Thomas and Isabella, his sister Maggie and his children Isabella, Maggie and Thomas all lived together.
Thomas Steele worked for the Head Line company, also known as the Ulster Steamship Company and G. Heyn & Sons, for many years. Registered in Dublin in 1877, the Ulster Steamship Company ran services to the east coast of Canada, the Far East, Europe and Baltic ports. New Orleans voyages started in 1896 and the company commenced carrying a limited number of passengers at about the same time. Thomas was an officer on the S.S. Torr Head when he was called up to the Royal Naval Reserves at the outbreak of World War 1.
He was staying at the Commercial Hotel, Belfast when he and Annie Gorman were married on 15 December 1916 in Knockbreda Church of Ireland, Belfast.  Annie was a daughter of Joseph Gorman, a Belfast shopkeeper. Thomas had been married for just six weeks when he died on the Laurentic. His body was recovered and he was buried in Tullylish (All Saints) Church of Ireland Churchyard, Co. Down.
Lieutenant Steele was well known in Belfast shipping circles by reason of his connection with the Head Line, in which he had served for many years. He was the son of Mr Alexander Steele of Gilford Mills, and a cousin of Mr. Alexander Mitchell, 18 Agnes Street, Belfast. He was home on leave a month ago, when he was married to a sister of Mr. G. Gorman, Haypark Avenue, Belfast. Before the war he was an officer of the S.S. Torr Head, and on being called up as an RNR man was sent to the Laurentic.
Belfast Weekly Telegraph February 3rd 1917

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