Tom’s ships

Tom Needham joins the Navy Tom was 13 when he joined the navy in 1864, a young Irish boy who had grown up beside the sea on the coast of County Kerry. His father George Needham had at one time been a captain in the Kerry coastguard, and may well have been in the navy... Continue Reading →

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Missing home

In November 1865, 14 year old Tom Needham wrote a letter home to his older sister in County Kerry, Ireland. Tom was a 14 year old sailor on the HMS Narcissus, a frigate in the British Navy, which was, at the time of writing, deployed off the south-east coast of America. The United States was... Continue Reading →

“My dear sister…” November 1865

A letter home from a young sailor, an Irish boy on a British ship, in 1865: Addressed to "My dear sister..,” this letter was probably written to Belinda Needham, Tom’s older sister, the one of his five sisters to which he seems closest. A transcript follows the images. Nov 6th 1865 My dear sister, I... Continue Reading →

Tom goes to sea

I was very excited toward the end of last year to receive a comment on my blog from Scott Anderson, a descendant of Thomas Needham: I am the great, great, great grandson of Thomas Needham, my grandfather was Thomas Needham Sitler, my uncle John Needham Sitler, who is a Presbyterian minister. I have my copy... Continue Reading →

Dingle, the family seat

John Hickson, Notes of Travel, published 1893, page 41: From Valencia we returned along a road overlooking the sea through Killorglin, and regretting exceedingly that we could not remain and enjoy a day’s salmon fishing in the Laune, we went on to Tralee, the chief town of the county. By rail we went to Dingle... Continue Reading →

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