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Ulster Presbyterian dies on the Titanic

In this the centenary year of the sinking of the RMS Titanic it is good to remember some of the Ulster passengers who were aboard the ship and who perished on 15 April 1912.   One such was Thomas Rowan Morrow, the second son of Waddell Morrow and Anna Rowan who were married in 1877 in Brookvale Presbyterian Church, Co Down.

The Morrows belonged to 1st Rathfriland Presbyterian Church where Thomas Rowan along with his other siblings were baptised.  Thomas Rowan was born 17 April 1880 and baptised on 15 July 1880.  He was a member of the Orange Order, becoming Worshipful Master of Drumlough LOL 153.  His father had died in 1892 aged only 58.

Thomas Rowan’s name appears in the 1911 census (see below) with his widowed mother Annie and his sister Sara.  His older brother Waddell Dickson Morrow had emigrated to Gleichen, Alberta, Canada in 1904 and Thomas Rowan had decided to join him there.  So on 11 April 1915 he boarded the Titanic at Queenstown, Co Cork.  The 31 year old who worked as a general labourer had paid £7 15s 0d  for a third class ticket.

Record of the Morrow household in 1911 Ireland Census

Record of the Morrow household in 1911

Third class passengers were some of the last to escape on the few lifeboats that were launched so the chances of Thomas surviving the disaster were seriously reduced.  Only 75 of the 462 third class adult male passengers survived when the ship began to sink.  Unfortunately, Thomas Rowan was among those who died and his body was never recovered.  We can only imagine the effect of the disaster on his widowed mother and his siblings, including his brother Waddell in Canada.

There are plans for a memorial to this Titanic victim to be erected in his hometown of Rathfriland.

The Society has some records relating to 1st Rathfriland Presbyterian Church – Marriages,1936-;  Register of Seatholders, 1853-60; Visiting Book,1798.

Go to the Presbyterian Historical Society of Ireland website

Go to the Presbyterian Historical Society of Ireland website