Louisa was born at Holyhead in 1896. She left Park School at 15 to train as a nurse before joining the City of Dublin Steam Packet Company as a Stewardess in 1914. Two of her sisters were similarly employed at the company. She lived with her family at 5 Fair View, Holyhead. One of nine children, she was only 22 when she lost her life.
She was not scheduled to work that day but sailed in place of one of her sisters who was ill. In all the confusion of a sinking ship, Louisa Parry, not thinking of her own safety, went to a lower deck to help passengers but became trapped in a cabin with a mother and her child; crew members were unable to open the door due to the angle of the ship and the pressure of the water against it.
The photograph of Louisa was taken shortly before her death. It will be noticed that she wears a ring on her engagement finger. It is believed that she was engaged to be married to an Army Officer.
The Memorial Plaque bearing her name is a treasured family reminder of this brave lady. The plaque is currently on loan to the Holyhead Maritime Museum and available to view as part of the museum’s RMS Leinster display.
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.
Our programme of events to commemorate the loss in 1918 of RMS Leinster includes what is promising to be a intriguing and thought provoking evening of drama, memories and reprisal! All welcome – free entry.