b. 16/12/1852 at sea. d. 03/08/1934 Monkstown, Dublin, Ireland.
DATE OF EM ACTION: 24/12/1895 Dun Laoghaire, Ireland.
Thomas was the eldest of two children born to Alexander and Eleanor McCombie (nee Cooke). His father was a master mariner, and Thomas was born aboard ship on route to the West Indies on 16th December 1852. His younger sister Frances Selina was born in Grenada in 1856. Thomas’ father died when he was 13 in Castries, St Lucia, and his mother was forced to return the family back to her native Ireland. On 6th March 1873, Thomas married Louisa Frances Gordon Wilkie in Monkstown, near Dublin, and tbey would have two children. Thomas was already following in his father’s footsteps and during the 1870s was passing the many certificates to become Second Mate, Mate, and Master of his own ship. On Christmas Eve, 1895, Thomas was Captain of the steamship Tearaght when the incident occurred which led to him being awarded the RNLI Gold Medal. He was awarded the medal for successfully rescuing 20 of the crew of the steamship Palme, which had run aground. Tragically 15 lifeboatmen had been killed trying to implement the rescue.
In later life, Thomas was invited to meet King George V at Buckingham Palace alongside fellow recipients of the RNLI Gold Medal. In 1924, he was awarded the OBE for his services to the RNLI, and he retired to Monkstown, where he died on 3rd August 1934.
BURIAL LOCATION: UNKNOWN.
LOCATION OF MEDAL: UNKNOWN.