The Sinking of the R.M.S. Leinster

People on board

Harry Bentley


Harry Bentley was born in Turton, Bolton, Lancashire in 1890 to William Bentley and Margaret Ainsworth. Harry was the youngest of their nine children, eight of whom were alive in 1911. William Bentley was a ‘Cotton Spinner’ and in the 1891 census his three eldest children were also working in the cotton industry. In the 1911 census the three youngest were working as a Dressmaker (Maggie), a Domestic Chauffeur (Marshall) and Harry was a Bank Clerk. He had earlier attended Bolton Grammar School.

William Bentley died in 1913 at the age of sixty-seven and both Harry and Marshall appear to have enlisted early in the war. Marshall was a Mechanic in what became the Royal Air Force and Harry was a Private in the 28th Royal Fusiliers. Harry’s military records are scant so it is not known if he fought in Europe but by 1918 (and possibly earlier) he had gained a commission in the Northumberland Fusiliers as 2nd Lieutenant.

It is not known why he was in Ireland but, returning on leave or enroute to the front, he travelled on RMS Leinster on the 10th of October 1918. He did not survive the sinking nor was his body recovered. His name is recorded on the Hollybrook Memorial in Southampton. In November 2019 some of the boys in Bolton School recorded on T.V. a tribute to ten of the former pupils of the school who had lost their lives in the months leading to the Armistice, including Harry Bentley.



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