The Sinking of the R.M.S. Leinster

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William Thomas Chaldecott

CHALDECOTT, William Thomas

William Thomas Chaldecott was born in 1891 in East Orchard, Shaftesbury, Dorset to Arthur Chaldecott and Selina Parham. He was the eldest of their thirteen children, all of whom were alive in 1911. Arthur Chaldecott was a Journeyman Baker. The family first lived in the village of Woodyates before moving to Handley (or Sixpenny Handley), in the Shaftesbury area. In 1911 William, aged nineteen, was working as a Dairyman and living at home, but the next three teenaged children were working in a hotel in Maiden Newton, some distance away. In 1915 a younger son, Albert Edwin, died aged fifteen.

William enlisted in the army at Gillingham, though the existing records do not say when. Initially he was with the Yorkshire Light Infantry, Service Number 23223, before transferring to the Royal Defence Corps. Some records show that he was first with the 12th Reserve Regiment of Cavalry, Service Number 21488, but his Medals Record clearly name the Y.L.I. His younger brother, Joseph Arthur, enlisted in the Dorset Yeomanry who were fighting in Egypt from 1915. He was killed in action in Gaza, Palestine, in November 1917.

William Chaldecott was with the 462nd Protection Company of the Royal Defence Corps in Ireland in 1918. He was presumably returning home on leave when he travelled on RMS Leinster on the 10th of October. He did not survive the sinking nor was his body recovered. His name is recorded on the Hollybrook Memorial in Southampton and he and his brother Joseph are named on the War Memorial in St Mary’s Church in Sixpenny Handley. Arthur and Selina Chaldecott lived on in Handley until the 1940s.



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