Fireman John Williams, hero of the Leinster


John Williams originated from Gwalchmai, Anglesey.  In 1910 he married Mary Hughes and in 1911 a daughter, Lizzie, was born at Gwalchmai. The family then moved to South Wales and John gained work as a Miner, living at Merthyr Tydfil and working at Aberfan. A son, John, was born in 1913.
His wife, Mary, grew more and more concerned about the dangers of her husband working as a Miner and they eventually moved back to Anglesey and John found work as a Fireman for the City of Dublin Steam Packet Company. They then lived at 9 Summer Hill, Holyhead.
John must have escaped the effects of the explosion when the first torpedo struck the Leinster but sadly did not survive the second strike that caused the complete destruction of the vessel. Soon after the disaster the family were told that he saved a woman passenger and had gone below to save another when he was lost.
Tragically his brother, Sergeant David Owen Williams, was killed in 1916 at the Somme, whilst serving with the 2nd Battalion, Royal Welsh Fusiliers.
John Williams’ body was not recovered for burial but his memory continues to be revered by his descendants. In the photos, taken at the Holyhead Maritime Museum, are granddaughters Mary Carr and Blodwen Faulkner. John’s grandson, David Williams is photographed with his wife Pam.

One thought on “Fireman John Williams, hero of the Leinster

  1. Philip Lecane October 4, 2018 / 10:49 pm

    Thank you for another fascinating – and very sad – story connected with the RMS Leinster.

    Liked by 1 person

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