The Sinking of the R.M.S. Leinster

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Wiliam Henry Colwil

COLWILL, William Henry Richard

William Henry Richard Colwill was born in 1878 in Swansea, Wales to Thomas Henry Colwill and Susannah Mould. According to the 1911 census they had thirteen children, only three of whom were living at that time, William being the eldest of those three. In the 1881 census the family was living in Rodney Street in Swansea and Thomas was a Labourer. The youngest living child was Esther, born in 1887 but the family cannot be found in the 1891 census. However there are entries in the Swansea Electoral Register for Thomas Colwill at 51 Eaton Road, Brynhyfryd up to 1896/97.

In the 1901 census only Susannah, William and Esther were living at 6 Frederick Street, which is off Eaton Road, though Susannah gave her status as married and no death certificate has been found for Thomas Colwill. William gave his occupation as General Labourer. In 1911, at the same address, Susannah declared herself a Widow, and living with her were William and her older daughter Susannah, then Crout, and her three children. In 1918 William Henry Richard Colwill appeared in Frederick Street in the Welsh Electoral Register.

It is not known when William Colwill enlisted in Swansea in the Worcestershire Regiment, and one record says that he had previously been with the Royal Engineers, Service Number 117192. In October 1918 he was with the 1st Garrison Battalion of the Worcesters, which had been in Dublin since June of that year. Presumably returning home on leave he travelled on RMS Leinster on the 10th of October but he did not survive the sinking, nor was his body recovered.

His name is recorded on the Hollybrook Memorial in Southampton and on the Swansea Cenotaph War Memorial.



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