Griffith Williams of RMS Leinster – in remembrance

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Griffith Williams was a member of the crew of RMS Leinster. He was 49 years old when he was lost with the vessel and was working in the Engine Room when the torpedo struck. He lived with his wife and children at 1 Henry Street, Holyhead.

This memorial scroll is in the safe keeping of his grandson, Bryn Lloyd Hughes, who kindly allowed it to be photographed. The words are a testimony not only to Griffith Williams’ memory and sacrifice but also to that of all merchant sailors of that time who would not only have to brave the day to day perils of the sea but also face the constant threat of U-boat attack.

Griffith Williams, along with others of the crew, are commemorated on the Holyhead War Memorial (Cenotaph) – https://sites.google.com/site/holyheadwarmemorial19141918/home/rms-leinster/griffith-williams-greaser. RIP.

Restored to History …….

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Due for publication in late September. The author of “Torpedoed! The RMS Leinster Disaster” returns to the sinking in a book focused on the women and children who were aboard the ship. In appendices, the book identifies the lifeboats in which particular passengers survived and tells the story of a young American sailor who lost his life in the sinking.

Griffith Williams’ Watch

imageGriffith Williams was employed as a Trimmer/Greaser on board RMS Leinster when she was torpedoed on 10 October 1918. He was 49 when he was lost with the ship and had lived with his large family at 1 Henry Street, Holyhead.

His silver watch was recovered from his body and records the time when RMS Leinster sunk below the waves. It is on display at Holyhead Maritime Museum.

Griffith Williams is buried at Maeshyfryd Cemetery, Holyhead.

More information here – https://sites.google.com/site/holyheadwarmemorial19141918/home/rms-leinster/griffith-williams-greaser

RMS Leinster Scrimshaw

This modern scrimshaw was made and kindly donated to the Holyhead Maritime Museum by local artist, Carwyn Jones, as a tribute to those lost on RMS Leinster.

The piece has now been added to the display at the Museum for visitors to appreciate. It’s particularly good to see this almost forgotten art form revived so expertly by Carwyn.

The Royal Welsh Fusiliers on RMS Leinster.

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According to records, and listed in Philip Lecane’s book, – ‘Torpedoed’, there were at least 21 Royal Welsh Fusiliers on board RMS Leinster – four officers and 17 men. They mainly served with the 3rd Battalion, RWF. Two officers and 12 of the men were lost.

We would be pleased to make contact with relatives of any of those listed below.

Sgt. John Brennan, aged 32.
27864, 9th Bn. RWF.
Born at Portsmouth, Enlisted Holborn.
Served with 19 RWF then attached to Hawke Bn. RND. Later RWF Infantry Base Depot, 9 RWF.
Awarded the British War Medal and Victory Medal.
Buried at Grangegorman Military Cemetery, Dublin – RC 603

Sgt. William Henry Fishwick, aged 35.
49068, 3rd Bn. RWF.
Son of John and Augusta Fishwick; husband of Amy Fishwick, of 12, North Street. Castlefields, Shrewsbury.
Born at Ruyton-eleven-towns, Salop. Enlisted at Leominster, Hereford.
8/R.W. Fus. Sgt 7283, R.W. Fus. 49068 Infantry Base Depot., 2/R.W. Fus., R.W. Fus. Infantry Base Depot., 2/R.W. Fus. First served in the Balkans – 29 June 1915. Previously in the army reserve.
Awarded the 1914-15 Star, British War Medal and Victory Medal..
Buried at Grangegoram Military Cemetery, Dublin – CE New Plot 739

Pte. Robert Henry Hall, aged 38.
6326, 3rd Bn. RWF.
Born at Manchester. Enlisted at Ruthin in October 1914.
Also served with the RDC and 24 RWF. Court Marshalled in September 1917 for stealing from a comrade. Served 96 days.
Awarded the British War Medal and Victory Medal.
Commemorated on the Hollybrook Memorial Panel 56.

Pte. Robert Arthur Hendry, aged 21.
71882, 3rd Bn. RWF.
Born and enlisted at Liverpool
Son of John and Catherine Hendry of 69 Fairview Place, Liverpool (1911)
Commemorated on the Hollybrook Memorial Panel 56

Pte. Richard Jones, aged 29.
74314, 3rd Bn. RWF. Formally 17739, Cavalry Regiment.
Enlisted at Bangor. Previously employed as a Coal Carter.
Husband of Ethel May Jones (nee Brooks), of Bryn Goleu, Nebo, Penygroes. Married at Caernarfon in 1912. Son Robert John Jones born in 1913.
Buried at Llanllyfni (Gorphwysfa) Cemetery – 44. Yr Herald Cymraeg of 26 November reports his body was found at Abergele Sands. Family information suggests that his death was registered at Isle of Man.

Pte. Samuel Langfield, aged 34.
90490 3rd Bn. RWF.
Born at Oldham and enlisted at Oldham in May 1918.
Son of Eliza Langfield, of 111, Heyside, Shaw, Lancs., and the late Abel Langfield; husband of Nancy Langfield (nee Holding). Married in 1910 at Oldham. Previously employed as a Cotton Spinner.
Commemorated on the Hollybrook Memorial Panel 57.

L/Cpl. John William Lundy, aged 23.
87831 3rd Bn. RWF.
Born at Sunderland. Enlisted at Manchester.
Son of John and Mary Lundy, of 104, Claude Rd., Chorlton-cum-Hardy, Manchester
Buried at Grangegorman Military Cemetery, Dublin – Pres. 90.

Lt. Joseph Francis McIntosh, aged 27.
3rd Bn. RWF, attached from 2 Bn. RWF. Previously Private 16360 RWF. Commissioned March 1915.
Enlisted in 1914 was Assistant Master at a school at Tamworth. He was the son of Thomas and Mary Phoebe McIntosh and the husband of Dorothy Kate McIntosh (nee Lobe). Married at Guildford, Surrey on 9 April 1918.
Previously served with the RWF in Flanders for 18 months. Suffered from trench fever and shell shock.
Lived at Shotton, Cheshire.
Awarded the British War Medal and Victory Medal.
Buried at Grangegorman Military Cemetery, Dublin – RC Officers 24.

Pte Harold Pickles, aged 24.
86900, 3rd BN. RWF.
Born and enlisted at Burnley. Previously worked in the Cotton Mills as a Twister.
Son of John Pickles, of 31, Caldervale Rd., Burnley; husband of Ada Pickles (nee Watson), of 20, Hinton St., Fulledge, Burnley. Married at Burnley during early 1918.
Commemorated on the Hollybrook Memorial Panel 58.

Pte. David Rowlands, aged 22.
61116, 3rd Bn. RWF.
Born at Llanfihangel , Anglesey. He was the son of Owen and Ann Rowlands (nee Pritchard) of Llerniau, Llanfigael. Enlisted at Menai Bridge. In 1901 he lived with his extended family at  Llerniau, with 3 brothers and 2 sisters. At the house was his maternal grandfather, William Pritchard a Shoemaker. In 1911 he was employed as a Cowman Nant Bychan Farm, Llanallgo, nr Moelfre, Anglesey, aged 15.
Commemorated on the Hollybrook Memorial Panel 58

Lt. William James Singleton, aged 30.
3rd Bn. RWF as Instructor. Formally 16th, 2nd, 20th and 17th Bn. RWF.
Born at Holyhead. Previously Deputy Head Teacher, Park School, Holyhead.
Awarded the British War Medal and Victory Medal. Wounded at Mametz Wood 18th July 1916. Buried at Grangegorman Military Cemetery, Dublin – CE.Officers.27.

Pte. Ezeciel Thomas, aged 23.
92077 3rd Bn. RWF (23)
Born at Llanrwst, enlisted at Colwyn Bay.
Son of Evan and Margaret Thomas. Husband of Annie Thomas (nee Hughes). Married at St. Asaph in 1916. Son Ezekiel Thomas born 1917.
Joined 4 months previously. Travelling on RMS Leinster to attend the funeral of his father.
Buried at Grangegorman Military Cemetery, Dublin – Pres. 93

Pte. William Walker, aged 37.
87949 3rd Bn. RWF. Formally 21065 South Wales Borderers. Served on the Western Front from 3/12/1915.
Born at Dudley, Worcester. Enlisted at Abertillery, Monmouthshire.
Son of the late Joseph and Jane Walker; husband of Hellen C. Walker, of 3/158, Lee Bank Rd., Edgbaston, Birmingham.
Awarded the 1914-15 Star, British War Medal and Victory Medal
Commemorated on the Hollybrook Memorial Panel 59.

Cpl. Harold Wilkinson, aged 21,
71605 3rd Bn. RWF. Formerly 53508, Liverpool Regiment.
Born at Peel Green, Lancashire. Enlisted at Eccles, Lancashire.
Son of John Alfred and Elizabeth Wilkinson, of 10, Trevelyan St., Eccles.
Buried at Peel Green Cemetery, Lancashire – F. CE. 16833.

Those of the RWF that survived.

Pte. J Bedall
Cpl. W Dudley
Pt. W E Frost
Lt. T Gadd
2nd Lt. B Jennins
Sgt. R Jones
Cpl. Page

RMS Leinster Commemoration Launch

There will be a public launch of the RMS Leinster Centenary Commemoration on Wednesday, 5 September at the Ucheldre Centre, Holyhead. The evening will commence with light refreshments at 6.30pm, followed by an illustrated talk by Dr. Michael Roberts of Bangor University.

Dr. Roberts has spent much time locating and image scanning many of the WW1 wrecks around the Welsh coast, particularly those close to Anglesey. His talk will be a fascinating insight into how many ships were lost to enemy U-boats during the Great War. He will also make reference to the wreck of RMS Leinster, which lies in Irish waters.

Information regarding other events planned for October 2018 will also to presented.

Efforts have been made to locate as many relatives as possible of those on board the Mailboat on 10 October 1918 and to inform them of the commemoration. If you are a relative we would very much like you to make contact.

The event is open to the public and is free to attend.

Although not essential, we would appreciate confirmation of attendance by emailing rmsleinster100@gmail.com.

Holyhead Crew Burials

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These are the burial records for those of the crew whose bodies were recovered and returned to Holyhead for interment. Among the listing you will see the burial record for John Pritchard, who was not on RMS Leinster but was lost from his ship following a collision. This is a reminder that life at sea was never without its dangers.

Private Tommy Woodgate, aged 14.

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This is the story of the one of the youngest servicemen killed during WW1. Tommy Woodgate came from Callan, Co Kilkenny and had joined the newly formed RAF about 6 months earlier. He was returning to the UK from leave when he was lost on RMS Leinster. He is buried at Grangegorman Military Cemetery in Dublin.

The CWGC lists him as 18 years of age. Birth records show that he was born on 31 December 1903.

Follow this link for more details – https://www.irishtimes.com/news/ireland/irish-news/memorial-honouring-kilkenny-dead-of-first-world-war-to-be-unveiled-1.3564297.

 

New Addition to RMS Leinster Display

IMG_1214We are grateful to Simon McClean for the loan of his great-aunt’s memorial plaque, now on display at the Holyhead Maritime Museum. Louisa Parry was one of two Stewardesses lost on RMS Leinster and lived with her family at 5 Fair View, Holyhead. One of nine children, she was 22 when she lost her life.

Family information tells us that she was not scheduled to work that day but sailed in place of one of her sisters who was ill. It is further believed that Louisa Parry went to a lower deck to help passengers but became trapped in a cabin with another woman and a child; crew members were unable to open the door due to the angle of the ship and the pressure of the water against it.