39 years old and born in Whitby ? There is no record of any such birth in about 1875 or anything even close. Suffice it to say that I have trawled births, deaths, marriages, baptisms, censuses and every other such record that I can find, and there is no reasonable match between 1861 and 1911, save that mentioned below. There is one clue that assists, however. A Thomas Adamson enlisted into the Imerial Yeomanry in January 1901, giving his age as 26 years and 5 months and indicating that he didn't have any relatives. He gave his birthplace as Whitby and his then address as Canterbury, Kent. He served until the end of the Boer War in South Africa and was discharged as being unfit for further service, having suffered a bout of enteric fever. If the details given are correct, he was born in about August 1874. Still no match for any of the usual sources.
The Bedfordshire Times confirms that Thomas was buried on 3rd January and his body carried to the church on a gun carriage belonging to the Royal Artillery. He is recorded as being a groom in the service of the Duke of Bedford. The Thomas who enlisted in 1901 was also a groom. One sad event occurred after his death when the room that he was occupying in a cottage in the High Street, belonging to Mr Henry Wright, a milkman of Hatfield Peverel, caught fire. Mr Wright and his wife had decided to fumigate the room after the soldier's death by lighting a sulphur candle; they had then left the property to stay with relatives for a few days. Unfortunately, the candle appears to have fallen over and the resultant fire was reported by Mrs Griggs, the next-door neighbour. The room and contents were lost.
The nearest match that I can make is that Thomas was the son of Rebecca Adamson, the wife of David Adamson, a seafarer. In 1871, the family is shown at 11 Andersons Yard, Whitby with Clara Isles and her husband George. In 1881, Rebecca has moved to Lofthouse(Loftus), just up the road from Whitby and her birth county is shown as Kent. Clara Isles now becomes Clara Linklater. They are all living with others in lodgings and are shown as tinkers and hawkers. Thomas Adamson is recorded as aged 9 and born in Whitby. My guess is that Thomas came from an itinerant family where births, deaths and marriages were loosely recorded, if at all (since none of the persons recorded can be traced further) and that his connections were lost at a fairly early age, certainly by the time that he enlisted in 1901.
Whoever he was, Thomas Adamson served his country and is remembered.