People on board
Robert Henderson was born in 1878 in Coundon, near Durham to Dobinson Henderson and Hannah Craggs. He was the fifth of their six children who were alive in 1881. Dobinson Henderson was a Coal Miner as were several of his sons, including Robert. The family lived in a number of County Durham villages, presumably moving for employment. In 1891 they were in Stockley where Robert, aged thirteen, was listed as a Coal Miner.
In 1897 he married Rachel Annie Tyerman and a son, Robert Wilfred, was born in 1899. The 1901 census shows the three of them in Stockley, with two of Rachel’s brothers living with them, including a sixteen year old ‘Coal Mine Driver’. Rachel died in 1905 and the same year Robert remarried to Hannah Haswell. Together they had six more children, including twins in 1911, and the final girl was born in 1915. At some stage the family moved to Oakenshaw near Willington, a colliery village built for the workers at the pit of Messrs. Straker and Love.
The limited military records available for Robert Henderson show that he enlisted in the Durham Light Infantry (Number 4235), later transferring to the Royal Defence Corps, though no dates are given. He was stationed in Ireland in October 1918 with the 462nd Protection Company and was returning on leave with several of his colleagues when he travelled on RMS Leinster. He did not survive the sinking but his body was recovered and he was buried in Grangegorman Military Cemetery in Dublin. His name is recorded on the Willington, Oakenshaw and Page Bank War Memorial Cross.