Henderson, Thomas

Henderson, Thomas

Second Lieutenant

8th Battalion, Royal Irish Rifles

Killed in action on Monday 6 August 1917 (aged 30)

No known grave


Commonwealth War Graves Commission

Ypres (Menin Gate) Memorial, Belgium (Panel 40)

Holywood and District War Memorial

Holywood Non-Subscribing Presbyterian Church

FWW Roll of Honour of the Non-Subscribing Presbyterian Church of Ireland

Annals of Sullivan Upper School


Thomas Henderson was born on 4 November 1886 in Riverside, Holywood and he was a son of George and Mary (Minnie) Gibson Henderson (nee Withers) who were married on 26 December 1876 in Rosemary Street Presbyterian Church Belfast.

The Henderson family lived in My Lady’s Mile, Holywood.

George and Mary Henderson (nee Withers) had ten children:

James (born 24 February 1878 in Hibernia Place, Holywood)

David (born 24 September 1879 in Hibernia Place, Holywood)

Mary (born 4 July 1881 in Hibernia Place, Holywood)

George Gibson (born 11 January 1883 in Hibernia Place, Holywood)

Agnes Gertrude (born 21 December 1884 in Riverside, Holywood)

Thomas (born 4 November 1886 in Riverside, Holywood)

John Montgomery (born 12 November 1888 in Riverside, Holywood)

Mabel Withers (born 12 September 1890 in Maryville, Holywood)

Charles James McAlister (born 12 February 1893 in High Street, Holywood)

Anne Isabella (born 23 November 1895 in High Street, Holywood)

George Henderson Senior worked as a druggist and commercial traveller and he died of heart disease on 20 September 1897 (aged 52).  Mary (Minnie) Henderson died on 23 August 1924.

Thomas Henderson attended Sullivan School from 1899 to 1903 and it was noted that his widowed mother had ‘private means’.

Thomas Henderson moved to Glasgow where he became an active member of St Vincent Street Unitarian Church.  In October 1916 he married Lucia Traill Smellie in Glasgow and they lived in Glenavon Terrace, Partick, Glasgow.

At the beginning of the war Thomas Henderson enlisted and he served with the 11th Battalion Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers.  After being promoted to the rank of Sergeant he was commissioned into the 8th Battalion Royal Irish Rifles in 107th Brigade of the 36th (Ulster) Division.

Second Lieutenant Thomas Henderson was 30 when he was killed in action on 6 August 1917 during the Third Battle of Ypres.  At that time, his mother lived at Craigtara, Holywood and his wife, Lucia Traill Henderson, lived at 8 Glenavon Terrace, Partick, Glasgow.

Initially he was reported as missing in action and on 20 February 1918 it was officially confirmed that he must be presumed to have been killed in action.

Second Lieutenant Thomas Henderson has no known grave and he is commemorated on the Ypres (Menin Gate) Memorial, Belgium; on Holywood and District War Memorial; in Holywood Non-Subscribing Presbyterian Church; in the First World War Roll of Honour of the Non-Subscribing Presbyterian Church of Ireland (published in 2018) and in the annals of Sullivan Upper School.