A heroic seaman was "overruled" from rescuing more passengers in need of help on the Titanic.

Born November 15, 1877, Able seaman Thomas Jones, from Cemaes Bay, boarded the Titanic as a member of the deck crew at Southampton.

The Titanic, a White Star Line-owned ship, was built at Harland & Wolff's main Belfast production yard and was registered in Liverpool, but tragically sank to the bottom of the North Atlantic Ocean after striking an iceberg on April 15, 1912.

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Thomas, then in his thirties, was put in charge of lifeboat number eight and getting 28 people - including women, children and stewards - to safety.

But when he wanted to go back to save more lives, Thomas, who later settled in Liverpool, was "outvoted," despite his lifeboat being able to accommodate over 60 people.

The local community council approached Cemaes Bay History Group and asked them to research the story of Thomas Jones to commemorate his life in the area.

Eric Torr, of the Cemaes Bay History Group, said: "He was born at 4, Sea View, Cemaes Bay. His father was a seaman and he used to go on the boat with his father and take bricks and stuff like that to Liverpool.

"At the age of 16 he joined the Royal Navy and later he moved to the Merchant Navy and from then on when he was in his late twenties he joined the White Star Line.

"The White Star Line were the group who owned the Titanic and other ships. He was on another ship in Southampton and he went to see the Titanic which was in the dock in Southampton.

"He went to board and knew one of the officers on the ship and he was persuaded to join the Titanic while the ship was laid up."

Thomas Jones, Able seaman on the Titanic. April 20, 1912
Thomas Jones, from Wales, who was an Able seaman on the Titanic. April 20, 1912

Thomas joined the crew and set sail for America, but a few days into the journey, the Titanic hit an iceberg and crew members like Thomas were in charge of getting passengers, mainly women and children, to safety.

Eric said: "Thomas Jones was put in charge of lifeboat number eight and there were only 28 people on board that boat and it could take 64.

"There were three stewards put on board as well to help with the rowing. Their hands were that soft they couldn't row. However the Countess Rothes in Scotland was one of the woman that boarded the lifeboat with her husband’s cousin and the lady in waiting.

"They were very very rich. Thomas could see the countess was used to ships and boats because of her lifestyle. Thomas put her in charge of steering the boat and she was also comforting the women on board.

"They were at sea for about eight hours until they were picked up by the Carpathia."

South Wales Gazette , Friday, May 31, 1912. Article depicts a letter from Gladys Cherry to Able Seaman Thomas Jones, from Anglesey, about their time in the Titanic
South Wales Gazette, Friday, May 31, 1912. Article depicts a letter from Gladys Cherry to Able Seaman Thomas Jones, from Anglesey, about their time in the Titanic

Eric said Thomas "made a name for himself" with Lucy Noël Martha, Countess of Rothes and that when the lifeboat was quite a distance away, they could see the Titanic sinking and Thomas wanted to turn back to save more people.

Mr Jones, the countess, her husband's cousin Gladys Cherry, her maid and an American woman, wanted to go back to rescue those in danger in the water, but were overruled by others on the boat.

The letter, published in the South Wales Gazette in May, 1912, reads: "I shall always remember your words: 'Ladies, if any of us are saved, remember, I wanted to go back. I would rather drown with them than leave them.

"You did all you could, and being my own countryman, I wanted to tell you this."

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As a thank you, the countess presented the crewman with a silver pocket watch and he gave her a plaque with number eight taken from the lifeboat.

The pair kept in touch until the countess died in 1956. Mr Jones later married and settled at 84 Jacob Street, Liverpool 8.

Eric said: "He was one of the heroes on the Titanic. There was a film of the Titanic, the first one and he was invited to that and he was portrayed in that as one of the crew members. He met the director of the film and the leading artist of it.

"It’s a big thing for Anglesey really. You've got the Titanic memorial in Belfast and you’ve got Liverpool's Maritime Museum. We want for people to know about him."

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The Cemaes Bay History Group previously sent a letter to the current owner of the Jacob Street property to tell Thomas Jones' story and ask for a plaque to be put on the house in his memory.

With approval from Liverpool City Council, the plaque will be unveiled today, September 24, with members of the history group and descendants of Mr Jones attending for the occasion.

Join our Liverpool memories and history Facebook group here.

The group are also in touch with Angela Young, the great granddaughter of the countess and are planning a memorial for Thomas Jones in Cemaes Bay.

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