Born on July 6th 1884 Thomas was the eldest child of Robert Rutherford, a merchant who would later be knighted, in addition to serving as Chair of the West India Committee, and his wife, Annie.
Having begun his education at the Prep, he went on to spend five years at the College between 1897 and 1902. In his final year he achieved some success as an athlete, winning the College title in both the 100 metres and the long jump as well as being a member of the 3rd XV.
After Dulwich he served an apprenticeship in Hartlepool before going on to Glasgow University, where he studied engineering and regularly represented the University rugby XV. Following his graduation, he was employed by Messrs. John McNeil & Co. of Govan, with whom he went on to work around the world, including in Barbados and the Philippines, where he was superintendent at the building of a sugar factory.
He returned to England at the outbreak of war and at once enlisted in the Public Schools Battalion of the Royal Fusiliers.
That November he was granted a commission in the Yorkshire Regiment, at first with the 11th Battalion, before later transferring to the 6th.
His talents as an artist meant that during this period he was also made an assistant instructor in the brigade class on field sketching.
On July 1915 he set sail for Gallipoli where he was killed in action not long afterwards, on August 22nd.