Monday, June 25, 2012
James Tonkies was another mystery, as with his brother I could find plenty of records for his life but nothing for his death. Then a very helpful member of the Great War Forum pointed me in the direction of the deaths at sea records, another very helpful member of the same forum went to the trouble of photographing an account of the sinking of the SS Burutu and emailing the pictures to me. Many thanks are due to them and to all the members of the forum who read my posts and responded with ideas, information and encouragement.
Anyway, back to James Tonkies. He was born in Liverpool in 1900. If you want to know more about the movements of the Tonkies families through the census returns please refer to an earlier post for his brother SAMUEL JOSEPH TONKIES.
James was born 3rd December 1900 on and baptised on 13th December 1900 in St James' Church.
source: ancestry.co.uk (image cropped by me)
James was a baby in the 1901 census and a schoolboy the 1911 census.
The next record I have of James is for his death. He joined the Mercantile Marine (Merchant Navy) and was killed on 3rd October 1918 when his ship the SS Burutu sank after accidentally colliding with another British Merchant ship.
source: deaths at sea index 1918 at findmypast.co.uk
This record shows that he was an OS (Ordinary Seaman) and only 17 years old. The address given matches that on his brother's CWGC entry.
James Tonkies was not eligible for a CWGC entry as he was not killed as a direct result of enemy action.
CLICK HERE TO GO TO A PAGE ON THIS BLOG ABOUT THE SINKING OF THE SS BURUTU (opens in new window)