People on board
Joseph Hill was born in Leicester in 1883, the son of Joseph Hill and Mary Ann Farmer, the third of six children. Joseph Snr. worked in the shoe trade, variously described as ‘Shoe Rivetter’, ‘Boot Clicker’ or ‘Shoe Pressman’. Two of his sons, including Joseph Jnr. also worked in the shoe trade, while two daughters worked in the hosiery trade, both big employers in Leicester.
At the time of his marriage in 1910 Joseph Jnr. had become a Barman, while his wife Nellie Clarke was a Cigar Maker. Both were radical in their political views and were politically active, Nellie as a suffragette. In the 1911 census Joseph gave his occupation as ‘Hotel Waiter’ and they were living in Wand Street, in a good three bed house. Two boys, Joseph Frederick and Kenneth, were born in 1911 and 1913. A third boy, born in 1915, was given the patriotic name of Albert Kitchener. Joseph enlisted with the 1/5th Battalion of the Lincolnshire Regiment in September 1914 and was sent to France. He was injured on the Somme and, having recovered, was posted to the 462nd Protection Company of the Royal Defence Corps.
Joseph’s Company were sent to Ireland, and it was while he was returning home on leave that he was travelling on RMS Leinster on 10 October 1918. Nellie waited for him at Leicester railway station, and when he did not arrive at the expected time she stayed on all night. She eventually got the news that Joseph had not survived the sinking. His body was recovered and he received a military funeral and was interred in the Military Cemetery in Grangegorman, Dublin.
Nellie continued living in Wand Street and was recorded there in the 1939 Register. She died in 1948.