OBE 1st, Military HM 1917
QSA (0) (Ast-Clerk: T. A. Woolf, H:M:S: Terrible.);
China (0) (Clerk: T.A. Woolf, R.N., H.M.S. Terrible);
1914-15 Star (Payr. T. A. Woolf. R.N.);
BWM and VM (Payr. Lt. Cr. T. A. Woolf. R.N.)
OBE LG 22 April 1919: ‘For valuable services as Accountant Officer of H.M.S. Fox on the Red Sea Patrol for three years.’
Thomas Alfred Woolf was born on 17 January 1882, entering the Royal Navy as an assistant Clerk aboard H.M.S. Duke of Wellington on 15 July 1899. Joining H.M.S. Terrible on 15 September 1899, he saw service with this ship during the South Africa and China wars, before Joining H.M.S. Sans Pareil as a Clerk on 13 December 1902. Between 1902 and being promoted Paymaster on 9 October 1914, he served on numerous ships, having served 10 years in the acting rank, and served during the Great War on the Red Sea Patrol in H.M.S. Fox. He was promoted Paymaster-Commander on 9 October 1920, and Paymaster Captain on 17 January 1932, and died on 12 May 1937.
QSA (2) Tugela Heights, Relief of Ladysmith (168900 A-B: W. Thomas, H.M.S. Terrible.);
China (1) Taku Forts (W. Thomas, A.B., H.M.S. Fame.);
1914-15 Star (168900, A.B. W. Thomas, Act. C.P.O. R.N.);
British War and Victory Medals (168900 A.B. W. Thomas. C.P.O. R.N.)
William Thomas was born in Liverpool on 19 May 1876 and entered the Royal Navy as a Boy Second Class on 8 August 1892. Between 1892 and the outbreak of the Great War, he would serve with a very large number ships and shore establishments, attaining the rating of Able Seaman by 1896 and Petty Officer First Class by 1902. Of particular note was Thomas’s service between 1999 and 1901 when he served with the Naval Brigades in both the Boer and China wars. During the former, Seaman Thomas was a member of Petty Officer Taylor’s 12 pdr gun crew, in Lieutenant Ogilvy’s battery of HMS Terrible’s Naval Brigade. After brief spells with HM ships Doris and Tartar and then back to Terrible, Thomas joined HMS Barfleur on 10 May 1900, serving with this ship until December that year. During this period he served with the Naval Brigade of HMS Fame at Taku Forts (confirmed on roll), possibly seconded to this ship’s brigade.
During the Great War, Thomas, now a Chief Petty Officer, served at a number of shore establishments. Demobilised in February 1919, in November of that year he joined the Coast Guard, serving until March 1923.