Captain Thomas Oswald Corrin

Royal Artillery, 316 Battery, 100 Heavy Anti-Aircraft Regiment, Service number 101649

Born:  June 25th 1892
Died:  July 25th 1940

Thomas Corrin was the second son of Samuel Wilberforce Corrin and his wife Ellen. He was baptised on July 31st 1892 at the church of St. James, Briercliffe, Lancashire. His father was a joiner, the son of an elementary schoolmaster. By 1911, the family had moved to Barrow-in-Furness and Samuel was an ironmonger employing staff.

Thomas matriculated in 1912 and came up to Christ Church to read music. He had been a student of a Dr Edward Brown whilst he lived in Barrow and returned there after Christ Church, and taught music.

He enlisted and served in the Infantry in the First World War, being gazetted Lieutenant on 8th September 1915 and was promoted, a year later. During the war he met an Army nurse, May Chisholm, from Scotland who later became his wife.

After the war he turned his hand to tea planting but in December 1922 both of them arrived in Southampton on the Suevic having boarded her at Cape Town. He describes himself as a Retired Army Officer and both of them were last resident in India. They are going to Barrow-in-Furness.

Around 1923, he went to Ulster as the organist and choirmaster of Portadown Parish Church. Shortly after he arrived to take up that position, E. Godfrey Brown invited him to become assistant director of Music at the BBC. He gained a reputation as a piano accompanist for soloists and, occasionally, a pianist with the orchestra. He was also known as "Uncle Tom" in the Children's Hour programme.   

He was appointed to the post of Inspector of Music in the Ministry of Education in Northern Ireland in 1925. His work in that position was handicapped by the system of teaching music at Elementary Schools, at that time. Many of the teachers may well have been all round educationalists, but they were either incapable or not inclined to undertake the specialist work required to teach young musicians.

He was also the organist at Holywood Parish Church.

He returned to the army at the start of the Second World War and was serving as a Captain in 316 Bty., 100 H.A.A. Regt Royal Artillery when he died on July 25th 1940 at Skelmorlie Road, Largs, Ayrshire.

He is commemorated on a special Memorial in Nelson, Lancashire Churchyard where a single special memorial commemorates 30 casualties buried in Great Marsden (St John) Churchyard where their graves could no longer be maintained and the original headstone of one casualty buried in Brierfield (Providence) Old Congregational Chapel yard has been re-erected.

He is commemorated in the Church of St. Philip and St. James, Holywood, County Down.

In Loving Memory of Thomas Oswald Corrin Mus.Bac. (T.C.D.) A.R.C.O.
Captain 316th Battery R.A.
Born 25th June 1892. Died on Service 25th July 1940.
Organist of this Church June 1929 – July 1940. 
Erected by the Clergy and Members of the Choir.

Probate was granted to his widow of 28 Hawthornden Road, Belfast. He left an estate in England of £1,064-8s.