Cumann Seandalaiochta agus Staire Phort Lairge

Friday, January 20, 2012

First spring lecture: A Waterford born submariner, Ernest James Vernon Thornton

Our first lecture of 2012 will be delivered by Mr Anthony Kinsella on Friday 3rd February . The topic of the lecture will be

Lt. Ernest James Vernon Thornton RN
                                 1890 – 1912
                  A Waterford born submariner

Ernest James Vernon Thornton was born in the family home, The Grange, 32 John’s Hill, Waterford City on Saint Patrick’s Day, 1890. His father, Ernest Isaac Thornton, was a solicitor with of a large practice in Waterford City.
Ernest Thornton was educated privately by a governess before attending Cheltenham College between January 1901 and December 1904.
He was successful in the Royal Navy cadetship examination which was held in November 1904 and completed his naval cadet course in May 1906.
He then saw service aboard ship in the Mediterranean and in home waters before transferring to the submarine service in August 1911.
On 2 February 1912 submarine A3 was involved in a collision with a submarine tender and sank immediately, all hands were lost. Lieutenant Ernest Thornton was second in command of A3.
He is buried in Clayhall Royal Naval Cemetery, Gosport and there is a plaque in his memory in Christ Church Cathedral Waterford.

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