The Sinking of the R.M.S. Leinster

People on board

John David Crispin

CRISPIN, John David

John David Crispin was born in Holyhead in 1869 to Thomas Churchward Crispin and Ann Nicol. Thomas Crispin was working as an Engineer for the City of Dublin Steam Packet Company, a position he held, according to his obituary, for forty one years. Born in Somerset, Thomas married Eliza Turner in 1839 in London and they had five children, the second born in Rouen, France and the two youngest dying in infancy. They were in Perth, Scotland in the 1851 Scottish census, when his occupation was ‘Engine Fitter’. Eliza died shortly after this and Thomas remarried in June 1853 to Ann Nicol, twenty two years his junior. In the 1851 census Ann, aged twelve, had been a Servant in the Crispin household. They moved to Holyhead before 1858 where Thomas and Ann had nine children, John David being the fifth.

In the 1861 census the family was living in Cybi Place in Holyhead, but by the time of John’s birth they had moved to Newry Street, later moving to No 9 Upper Park Street nearby, where they stayed well into the twentieth century. In the 1891 census John was a lodger with a Welsh family and two other young Welshmen in Tranmere, Birkenhead.

His occupation was ‘Ships Engine Fitter’, following in his father’s footsteps. He was back in Holyhead by 1899 working for the CDSPCo on RMS Ulster as Fifth Engineer. His father, Thomas Churchward Crispin, died in 1895 at the age of seventy eight.

In 1904 John David Crispin married Mary Elizabeth Evans in Holyhead and they lived in Maeshyfryd Road in the south of the town. His mother Ann died in 1906 aged sixty eight (although the death cert said seventy five). Irene Churchward Crispin was born in 1909, the only child of John and Mary. She married Owen G Roberts in 1940 and they lived with her mother in Maeshyfryd Road until her death in 1964. Irene died in 1975.

John David Crispin was working as Fourth Engineer on RMS Leinster on 10th October. He did not survive the sinking of the ship and his body was not recovered. He was awarded the Mercantile Marine Medal and British War Medal and is commemorated at Tower Hill Memorial.



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