CWG: Engineman Thomas Carmichael

Engineman Thomas Carmichael

Thomas Carmichael was born on 19th December 1888, the older of two children to George and Elizabeth – Lizzie – Carmichael. George was an engine fitter from Hull, Yorkshire, and this is where he and Lizzie raised their young family.

Little further information is available for Thomas’ early life. He married a woman called Annie, but no documents remain to confirm when their wedding was. The couple settled in Hull, and went on to have two children, a girl and a boy.

War had his Europe by this point, and Thomas enlisted in the Royal Naval Reserve. He joined the Royal Naval Reserve as an Engineman on 16th May 1916, serving primarily at the shore-based establishments of HMS Pembroke (the Royal Naval Dockyard in Chatham, Kent), HMS Gunner (the Granton Naval Base in Edinburgh) and HMS Vivid (the Naval Dockyard in Devonport).

Engineman Carmichael arrived in Chatham in August 1917. The Dockyard was particularly busy that summer, and the large number of extra servicemen meant that Thomas was billeted in temporary accommodation in Chatham Drill Hall.

On the 3rd September 1917, the first night air raid carried out by the German Air Force bombarded the town, and scored a direct hit on the Drill Hall; Engineman Carmichael was among those killed. He was just 28 years of age.

Thomas Carmichael was laid to rest, along with the other victims of the Chatham Air Raid, in the Woodlands Cemetery, Gillingham. Tragically, the Navy Death Records state that he was Buried as unidentified in one of the following graves: 516, 522, 642, 735, 935, 937 or 948.


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