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Titanic Anniversary: Thomas Rowan Morrow - Drumlough LOL 153

Thomas Rowan Morrow was born in the townland of Drumlough near Rathfriland in Co Down, Ireland on 17 April 1880.

He was the son of Waddell Morrow (b. 1834), a farmer, and Anne Rowan (b. 1846), both farmers from Co Down who had married in Brookvale Presbyterian Church on 22 June 1877. He had four siblings: George (b. 5 October 1878), Susanna (b. 19 February 1882), Waddell Dickson (b. 14 May 1884) and Sarah (b. 10 August 1886).


Thomas belonged to a Presbyterian household and his family were staunch British Unionists who, at the time, opposed the pledged implementation of Irish Home Rule.


The men in the family belonged to the local Loyal Orange Lodge, Drumlough Heroes LOL 153. Thomas was a Past Master of the Lodge on two occasions, from 1903-1904 and 1908-1911. His brother Waddell was a Past Master of the lodge also


His father Waddell died suddenly on 17 November 1892 aged 58; his mother never remarried, and she and her family remained in Drumlough.


Thomas appeared on the 1901 census of Ireland living at 15 Downpatrick Street, Rathfriland where he was described as an unmarried grocer. He was the head of the household. Also present at the address were his maternal aunt Sarah Osborne and grandmother Susan Rowan. At home with his widowed mother and unmarried sister Sarah on the 1911 census, his address was given as house 28 in Drumlough, Rathfriland and he was then described as a farmer.


His brother Waddell emigrated to Canada where he reportedly worked as a rancher in Gleichen, Alberta. Thomas decided to join Waddell who reportedly owned a ranch close to Gleichen; he boarded the Titanic at Queenstown as a third-class passenger (ticket number 372622, which cost him £7, 15s).

As pointed out by Senan Molony in his book The Irish Aboard Titanic, Morrow would have cut a lonely figure among his fellow countrymen also travelling third class at the time, an overwhelmingly Irish Roman Catholic group who favoured Irish Home Rule and at a time when tensions were on the rise in Ireland in the run-up to the Home Rule Bill being passed.


Thomas Rowan Morrow died in the sinking and his body, if recovered, was never identified.


His mother remained in Drumlough, but fell ill within a short while and ended up paralysed, perhaps from a stroke. She died on 27 December 1914.


His brother Waddell had married to another Irish woman, Isabella, and the pair had two children by the time they appeared on the 1921 Canadian census in Calgary; sons Rowan (b. 1910) and William (b. 1915). Waddell was by then working on the railways, repairing trains. He died on 11 June 1949 and is buried in St Mary's Cemetery, Calgary.


The Lodge dedicated a Bannerette (pictured above) in his memory in April 2012, on the 100th Anniversary of the Titanic disaster.

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