The Sinking of the R.M.S. Leinster

People on board

Ernest Gilbert Akehurst

AKEHURST, Ernest Gilbert

Ernest Gilbert Akehurst was born in Islington, London in 1900 to Charles Akehurst and Leah Lillie Field. Charles, a Commercial Traveller, and Leah were married in 1893 and their first child, Charles Herbert, was born in 1895 followed by Victor Lawrence in 1897. Charles Snr. appears to have died, possibly before Ernest’s birth. In the 1901 census the widowed Leah was working as a Waitress in a coffee shop in Islington, and one year old Ernest was with her. Both Charles and Victor were in the Islington Workhouse. Over the following few years the three boys spent time in the Workhouse, sometimes for as little as a week at a time.

In 1904 Leah had another son, Frederick Natkiel Akehurst, whose father was presumably the man she would marry in 1908, Arthur Natkiel. a widower with a daughter Sarah. In the 1911 census the family were living on Hartington road, Walthamstow in London and two further children, Leah and Janette, had been born. However Ernest, then aged eleven, was not present and has not been found elsewhere.

It is not known where Ernest went or when he enlisted in the army, but in October 1918 he was a Private with the Scottish Horse Yeomanry, which had three brigades in Ireland. His brother Victor had also enlisted and had served in France with the Machine Gun Corps. Ernest was presumably returning to London on leave when he travelled on RMS Leinster on the 10th. He did not survive the sinking but his body was recovered and he was buried in Grangegorman Military Cemetery in Dublin.


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