The Sinking of the R.M.S. Leinster
 

People on board

Boxer Allen Ware

WARE, Boxer Allen Ware

Boxer Allen Ware was born in Hindmarsh, a suburb of Adelaide in South Australia, on 22 April 1896 to George Ware and Evelyn Allen. His unusual forename came from his uncle, Charles Boxer Ware, who had been born on Boxing Day. Boxer’s father and uncles were in the brewing and hotel businesses and Charles was elected Mayor of Thebarton in Adelaide. Boxer was the second of five children, and the elder son. He attended St Peter’s College in Adelaide, an independent school known for its history and famous alumni. While there he served four years with the Voluntary Cadets.

He enlisted with the 3rd Australian Transport Company in January 1916 and trained as a Driver until the following November, when he was sent to England and then France. In May 1917 he was found guilty of “leaving a Government Motor Car unattended” and docked one day’s pay, seven shillings. He was in hospital in August. On 3 October 1918 his records show that he went on fourteen days leave. Part of that leave was spent with fellow Australian, Frank Coleman, in the Shelbourne Hotel in Dublin. On the morning of 10 October they took the train from Dublin to Kingstown in the company of two other soldiers, one Australian and one from New Zealand, and boarded RMS Leinster to travel to England for the remainder of their leave.

Frank Coleman later gave an account of what happened when the ship was torpedoed. The four soldiers had stayed on deck as the ship was very crowded, and the majority of passengers on the deck had put on the available life jackets. There was relatively little panic after the first torpedo, but when the second hit it was “every man for himself”. The other three soldiers hung on long enough to be rescued, but Boxer Ware did not survive. Coleman reported that the last time he had seen Ware he was swimming on his back. He described him as being “very fair, and good-looking”, a description that was confirmed by Ware’s cousin in England, Florence Ware, who knew that he was coming on leave and planning to visit Scotland and Ireland. Coleman went on to say that Boxer Ware had been wearing “size seven boots, dark tan, which he had bought in London”.

His body was never recovered and it was not until early December that his death was confirmed to his family. His name is recorded on the Hollybrook Memorial in Southampton.

 

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