Manion, Thomas

Thomas Manion was born circa 1901, the son of James & Caroline Manion, (nee Beaman) who, I believe, had married in the June Quarter of 1895 in Wolverhampton, (Volume:6b, Page: 994).   The Certificate would have to be purchased to confirm/deny.

The family are seen for the first time on the 1901 census living at 21, Gaskell Street, Newport, Monmouthshire.    James Manion, 34, a Steelworker and his wife Caroline, 26 had both been born in Wolverhampton as had their children, Joseph , 4, John 2 but Thomas, age 9 months had been born in Newport, Monmouthshire.    There was a Boarder living there too, a William Williams, 30, an Ironworker also born in Wolverhampton.

The 1911 census sees the family living many miles away at 16, Kirby Grove, Shotton, Flintshire (4 Rooms).   James, 44, still head of the household and a Steelworker and Caroline, 36, tells us that they had been married for 16 years and that 8 children had been born to them, but sadly 3 had died.   The 5 surviving children were Joseph, 13, John, 12 and Thomas age 10, the 2 newly arrived members of the family were Betsy, 4, born in Connah’s Quay and baby Margaret, age 6 months born in Shotton.

I do not know anything about Thomas Manion’s childhood and he is not seen again until it seems that Thomas left the family home in 1919 and joined the Royal Navy as the UK, Royal Navy Registers of Seamen’s Services, 1848-1939 tells us he was born on the 26th June 1900 in Newport, Monmouthshire.  His first Service date was the 22nd November 1919 and his first ship was the Vivid 11, which I believe to be a Shore Establishment or Barracks and was renamed HMS Drake in 1934.  Last Service Date:- 4th  Oct 1938.

He was then on a later document shown to have been on Drake 2 (Basilisk), first Service date 24th August 1939, as a Stoker for 3 years, then the Lynx (Basilisk), so looks as though his ship was the same but was being paid out of another Shore Establishment – the Lynx. (HMS Lynx was also a shore establishment at Dover commissioned in 1939 and paid off in 1946. )

Thomas, I believe, marries Mary Ellen Jones in a Civil Ceremony at Holywell in 1924 (Flintshire (Mold)HOL/45/100).   Again, the Certificate would have to be purchased to confirm/deny.

I think I found Mary Ellen Manion and her family on the 1939 National Register, which was taken on the 29th September 1939,  living at 9 Ryeland Street , Shotton, Flintshire, Wales

Mary E  Manion born 10th January 1900, a Closed Record, then Dennis S. Manion, born 14th May 1928 and at School,another Closed Record, but the tape that covered it was not put on very well, and I am making an educated guess that it might have covered Beryl Manion’s details, whose birthday was  the 5th December 1931, the last record was for Doreen Manion, born on  the 23rd September 1934 and was at School.

Thomas’s parents,  on the 1939 National Register are living at 16, Kirby Grove, James Manion,  born on the 15th January 1867 and a Retired           Labourer In Steel Works with Caroline Manion, born on the 21st  July 1877. Described as doing “Unpaid Domestic Duties.”  This was the usual description of married women on the National Register.

So it looks as though Thomas was away in the Royal Navy, probably on H.M.S. Basilisk.   We know that he was on that ship when it was attacked as the link  tells us a little of the story of the fate of the men on board.

Allied Warships

HMS Basilisk (H 11)

Destroyer of the B class

Commissioned  4 Mar 1931

Lost        1 Jun 1940

Loss position      51° 08’N, 2° 35’E


On 1 June 1940 HMS Basilisk (Cdr. Maxwell Richmond, OBE, RN) was sunk by German Stuka dive bombers off Dunkirk, France while she was participating in the evacuaton of the British Expeditionary Force from France.

The wreck lies in only 7 meters of water in position 51º08’13″N, 02º35’01″E. 

Notable events involving Basilisk include:

13 Nov 1939

During the night of 12/13 November 1939 the German destroyers Karl Galster, Wilhelm Heidkamp, Hermann Kunne and Hans Ludemann lay a minefield in the South and Edinborough channels. Soon after the minefield had been laid the mine laying cruiser HMS Adventure (Capt. A. R. Halfhide, RN) ran into a mine. Temporally disabled the injured were transferred to the destroyer HMS Basilisk (Cdr. M. Richard, RN) while the destroyer HMS Blanche (Lt.Cdr. R.N. Aubrey, RN) stood by. As the force made its way towards safety HMS Blanche was mined and settled by the stern. The tug Fabia went to the destroyers assistance but as she was towed the destroyer capsized and sank. HMS Blanche lost two crew killed and twelve injured.

See this website (offsite link) for a detailed account of the mining of HMS Adventure and HMS Blanche.

1 Feb 1940

HMS Basilisk (Cdr. M. Richmond, RN) sailed from Dover to for Boulogne with Lord Gort aboard, she returned with the Chief of Naval Staff, Chief of Imperial Staff plus other senior Staff Officers.

4 Feb 1940

HMS Basilisk (Cdr. Maxwell Richmond, OBE, RN)and HMS Brilliant (Lt.Cdr. F.C. Brodrick, RN) sail from Dover, the former with the Prime Minister, War Cabinet and Chief of Staff for Boulogne.

18 Apr 1940

Involved in the rescue of a Whitley bomber crew that had been forced to ditch in the North Sea during operations to Trondheim. The aircraft in question was Whitley V N1352 KN-B of 77 Squadron, operating from a forward base at Kinloss, taking off at 1735 to bomb the airfield at Trondheim. At 2207 hours, a distress call from the aircraft was received and further calls were monitored over the next half hour or so. Shortly after 2234, the crew ditched. At around 0200 hours, the following morning, HMS Basilisk (Cdr. M. Richmond, RN) came on the scene and picked up four survivors; F/O Chance, Sgt Tindall, LAC O’Brien and AC1 Douglas. The body of the pilot, P/O R Hall (43151) was also recovered, and this officer now rests in Lerwick New Cemetery, though his home was in Yorkshire. (1)

13 May 1940

French troops were landed at Bjervik, Norway today. This is just to the north of Narvik. The town was captured successfully.

Naval ships involved in landing the troops and to provide cover were; battleship HMS Resolution (Capt. O. Bevir, RN), light cruisers HMS Aurora (Capt. L.H.K. Hamilton, DSO, RN), HMS Effingham (Capt. J.M. Howson, RN) which both landed French troops, repair ship HMS Vindictive (Capt. A.R. Halfhide, RN), netlayer HMS Protector (Capt. W.Y la L. Beverley, RN) and the destroyers HMS Somali (Capt. R.S.G. Nicholson, DSO, DSC, RN), HMS Havelock (Capt. E.B.K. Stevens, DSC, RN), HMS Fame (Cdr. P.N. Walter, RN), HMS Basilisk (Cdr. M. Richmond, OBE, RN) and HMS Wren (Cdr. H.T. Armstrong, RN).

Air cover for this operation was provided, from a distance, by aircraft from HMS Ark Royal (Capt. A.J. Power, RN).

Later this day these ships also bombarded Narvik with the assistance of aircraft from the Ark Royal.

Thanks to – Forum:-   Brian in particular.

Basilisk, destroyer, ship loss

FRANCIS, Ernest G, Gunner (T), Rtd, killed

GRIFFITH, John E, Engine Room Artificer 2c, D/M 4835 Pens No 13060, killed

GRIFFITHS, Edward, Engine Room Artificer 2c, D/MX 47570, killed

LOWRY, Harry P, Stoker Petty Officer, D/K 60918, killed

MAHONEY, Herbert J, Stoker Petty Officer, D/K 8540 Pens No 2227, killed

MANION, Thomas, Stoker 1c, RFR, D/SS 119888 B 12894, killed

PUTT, Richard F, Stoker 1c, D/KX 89644, killed

RIDDLE, Frederick W, Able Seaman, RFR, D/J 11320 D 801, killed

WORMALD, Stephen, Stoker 1c, RFR, D/SS 124867 B 12968, killed

Chester Chronicle 15th June 1940 P.3 C.4


Mrs. T. MANNION, 9, Ryeland-street, has been notified by the Admiralty that her husband, First Class Stoker Thomas MANNION, (aged 40) had been killed in action.   Mr. Mannion was serving on a destroyer operating at Dunkirk.    The youngest son of Mr. & Mrs. Jas. MANNION, 16, Kirby Grove, Shotton, Mr. MANNION had served in the Royal Navy for 22 years.   He had in several ships whose names became famous.    Immediately upon outbreak of this war he was called up as a reservist and served on destroyers in the battle of NARVIK.    He leaves a widow, who is the daughter of Mr. David JONES, Tanybryn, and four children.

Thomas was well loved as someone made sure Thomas was to be remembered, he is on the Connah’s Quay & Shotton and Hawarden War Memorials.



Learn more about the other soldiers on the Connahs Quay and Shotton War Memorial

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