The Sinking of the R.M.S. Leinster

People on board

Thomas Blackhurst


Thomas Blackhurst was born on the 8th of October 1893 in Oldham, Lancashire to Samuel Blackhurst and Mary Ann Andrew. Thomas was the sixth of their nine children, only six of whom were alive in 1911. Samuel’s occupation was an ‘Iron Turner Machine Shop’, but all the children worked in the Cotton Mills, Oldham being one of the most important cotton and textile centres in England at the time. In the 1911 census Thomas, aged seventeen, was a ‘Cotton Mill Hand’.

He enlisted in the Lancashire Fusiliers at Chadderton in 1915 and was posted to the 17th Battalion which served in France and Belgium, Service Number 18283. He was injured in May 1917 and brought to No 34 Clearing Station, east of Amiens. Suffering with an “Accid. bomb Wd. forearm (R)”, he was there from the 29th of May until the 4th of June. A report in the War Office Weekly Casualty List of the 4th of December 1917 lists T. Blackhurst, Oldham, Lancashire Fusiliers among the wounded, but it is not clear if this is a separate incident from the May event.

Thomas Blackhurst was transferred to the Royal Defence Corps, presumably as a result of his injury, and he was with the 468th Protection Company in Ireland. Returning to England on leave he travelled on RMS Leinster on the 10th of October. He did not survive the sinking but his body was recovered and he was buried in Grangegorman Military Cemetery. His name is recorded on the Oldham War Memorial.



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