Thomas Mottram Hough


Thomas’ paternal grandparents were Thomas and Anne Hough. Thomas was born in Goosnargh, Lancashire, about 1828, and Anne in Odiham, Hampshire, about 1832. Thomas was variously described as a carrier’s clerk, a commercial clerk, a commercial railway clerk and a cashier. The couple had 6 children. The oldest was born in Openshaw, the others in Gorton. The fourth child, another Thomas, was Thomas Mottram’s father. They lived at addresses in Gorton and Chorlton-on-Medlock. In 1901 they had moved to 80 Birch Lane, Longsight, and in 1911 Anne, now widowed, lived at 78 Birch Lane.

The maternal grandparents were John and Harriet Mottram. John was born about 1825 in Thorpe, Derbyshire, and Harriet about 1832 in Salford. In 1871 they lived at 103 Higher Cambridge St, and John was a warehouseman. In 1881 they lived at 101 Lloyd St, Chorlton-on-Medlock, and John was a salesman. In 1891 they lived at 62 Warwick St, and John was now in the straw hat and bonnet trade. The couple had 6 children, of whom the youngest was Helena Beatrice, Thomas Mottram’s mother.


Thomas Mottram’s father, Thomas, was born at 20 John St, Gorton, on 18 October 1860. He was baptised on 13 January 1861 at St Stephen’s church, Chorlton-onMedlock. His first marriage was to Emily Alice Oldfield at St Stephen’s church on 31 October 1885. They had a daughter, also Emily Alice, about 1887. Following her mother’s death she stayed with her paternal grandparents. She was still with her grandmother, Anne Hough, in 1911, working as a babylinen saleswoman. By 1891 Emily Alice Snr had died.

Thomas remarried in 1893. His second wife was Helena Beatrice Mottram. She was born in Manchester on 19 May 1866 and was baptised with her older sister on 31 October 1866 at Manchester Cathedral. Thomas and Helena married on 11 February 1893 at St Clement’s church, Greenheys. His address at the time was 23 Nelson St, and hers was 62 Warwick St. By 1897 they lived at 12 Warwick Avenue and in 1911 they lived at 185 Burton Rd, West Didsbury. Thomas was a buyer of cotton goods. They had 3 children, the second being Thomas Mottram. The others were George, born about 1894, and John Herbert, born about 1904. They both appear to have been alive in 1917.

Thomas Mottram

Thomas Mottram was born in West Didsbury on 26 April 1897 and baptised at Christ Church on 27 June 1987. From 1910 to 1912 he attended William Hulme’s Grammar School. While a pupil he played football (Second Eleven in 1911 and First Eleven in 1912). He went to sea after school, training on the Dimsdale from June 1912 until October 1913 and then on the Beeswing from 26 November 1913 until the same date in 1916. In January 1917 he received his Certificate of Competency as Second Mate of a Foreign-Going Ship from the Office of the Registrar General of Shipping and Seamen.

On 6 April 1917 he was sailing as Third Mate on the SS Powhatan, a Mercantile Marine vessel, 25 miles northwest of the Outer Hebrides when she was sunk by a torpedo from U-66, commanded by Kapitanleutnant Thorwald von Bothmer. The master was taken prisoner and the rest of the crew lost (36 lives). Thomas is commemorated on the Cavendish Rd School memorial, the Old Hulmeians War Memorial and the Tower Hill Memorial in London.