Past times – a postcard home.

This postcard was sent by a young man on holiday at Anglesey in August 1907 to let his family at Kingstown (now Dún Laghaire) know how he is enjoying himself. He is probably staying at Porth Dafarch, near Holyhead and remarks how rough the sea was at the time.

He makes mention that he had already witnessed the scene on the postcard. RMS Leinster is shown on her way over to Kingstown and passing the end of the Holyhead Breakwater before she turns west and picks up speed to cross the Irish Sea.

Many thanks to Mark Bertorelli for permission to use the images of the postcard in his possession.

The RMS Leinster Story – MônFM

The first broadcast by local historian Dr. Gareth Huws of the five part radio documentary telling the story of the loss of RMS Leinster was broadcast tonight (12th September) at 8pm. It will be broadcast again in Welsh on 13 September at 7pm. The series will continue at 8pm each Wednesday in English and 7pm each Thursday in Welsh.

This is part of the programme of events marking the centenary of the loss of the Mail Boat aiming to bring the story to as wide an audience as possible. We are grateful to Dr. Gareth Huws for writing and presenting the broadcasts and also to Tony Jones of Môn FM for facilitating them.

MônFM broadcasts on 102.5 FM and online at monfm.net

Richard Roberts and his talented family.

Richard Roberts was a Fireman on RMS Leinster. He was lost when the mail boat was torpedoed. Aged 44, he lived with his wife, Kate, and large family at London Road, Holyhead. Previous to joining the City of Dublin Steam Packet Company he had worked as a Van Driver for a bakery.

Richard and all his children had musical abilities. Richard himself led the singing at Capel Disgwylfa, Holyhead. His eldest daughter Annie, shown top left in the photo, played the organ at the chapel. Next to Annie is Mary who sang on the eisteddfodau circuit. To Richard’s right is Caradoc who played the piano and to Richard’s left is Ritchie, who had a beautiful base/baritone voice. Next to Ritchie is Jinny who could also play the piano and became a teacher, starting her career at Llandrygarn School. Standing close to his mother is Hugh Enoch, who could also play the piano.

The poignancy of this photograph is that it was taken a couple of months prior to the sinking and Kate Roberts was pregnant at the time. Richard Roberts would never see his unborn child nor would Beryl his daughter ever see her father.

The memorial plaque is at Seiont Chapel, Llandrygarn, Anglesey.

With thanks to Peter Scott Roberts for the information about his grandfather and family. Thanks also to Hefina Roberts for the photo of the Memorial Plaque.

RMS Leinster at the National Maritime Museum, Dun Laoghaire.

An exhibition covering the loss of RMS Leinster has recently opened at the National Maritime Museum of Ireland at Dún Laoghaire. One of the center pieces of the exhibition are two newly installed Interactive Touch Screens displaying all known information on over 800 RMS Leinster casualties and survivors, including many from Holyhead. Also listed are those lost from the U-boat UB-123 that torpedoed the mail boat.

This is the work of a small dedicated research team at the museum – Philip Lecane, Brian Ellis and Lucille Ellis, who have spent many hours searching records and making contact with relatives of those on board RMS Leinster on that fateful day.

The above article was kindly provided by Richard McCormick, President of the Maritime Institute of Ireland and is reproduced from the August 2018 edition of the Marine Times Newspaper of Ireland.

Griffith Williams of RMS Leinster – in remembrance

IMG_1305

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 …….

IMG_2877

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.