Thomas Edward Upton Prowse was born in Liverpool, Lancashire, England, on the 3rd July 1888, the son of Thomas Upton and Catherine Gertrude Prowse. His father was an accountant and the secretary of a building society, and young Thomas became a book keeper on completing his education.
In 1911, he married Madeline Cawthron, and they made their home at 29 Greenbank Road, Sefton Park, Liverpool.
On the 2nd November 1914, he enlisted in the 3rd Dragoon Guards as 5729 Private Thomas Prowse; however, he was deemed medically unfit to serve, and was discharged on the 30th January 1915.
He engaged as an assistant pantry steward in the Stewards' Department on board the
Lusitania at Liverpool on 12th April 1915. Having reported for duty on board on the morning of 17th April 1915, before the liner left the River Mersey for the last time, he successfully completed her voyage to New York and was still serving as an assistant pantry steward when she left that city on her return leg, on 1st May.
Six days later, he was killed when the liner was sunk by the German submarine
U-20, off the coast of southern Ireland and 250 miles from home. He was aged 26 years.
As his body was not recovered and identified afterwards he is commemorated on the Mercantile Marine Memorial to the Missing at Tower Hill, London.
In August of the same year, the balance of pay owing to him for his sea service on the
Lusitania, which was reckoned from 17th April 1915 to 8th May, 24 hours after the liner had foundered, was paid to Madeline Prowse. In addition, The Liverpool and London War Risks Insurance Association Limited granted her an annual pension which amounted to £25-8s-9d. (£25.44p.), payable at the rate of £2-2s-5d. (£2.12p.) per month.
Register of Births, Marriages and Deaths, 1891 Census of England and Wales, 1901 Census of England and Wales, 1911 Census of England and Wales, Commonwealth War Graves Commission, Cunard Records, PRO BT/ 100/345, UniLiv. PR 13/24, PRO BT 334.