The Sinking of the R.M.S. Leinster

People on board

William Dandy

DANDY, William

William Dandy was born on the 8th of February 1899 in Padiham, near Burnley in Lancashire to William Dandy and Alice Walmsley. He was the youngest of their seven children, one girl dying in 1910 at the age of twenty. All the family were Cotton Weavers, including Alice and when William enlisted in 1917 he too gave his occupation as Cotton Weaver. In October 1914 a new battalion of Territorials was recruited in Padiham and among those enlisting were three officials of the Padiham Weavers Association, including Thomas Dandy, eldest son of William and Alice.

William Jnr enlisted on the 5th of March 1917 aged eighteen, initially into the 2/4th Battalion of the  Royal Scots Fusiliers who were then in Ireland. In February 1918, as the battalion was about to be disbanded, he was “compulsorily transferred” to the R.A.M.C. and sent to Blackpool for training. In April he was posted to the 341st Field Ambulance which was in Home Service. By October 1918 he was in Fermoy in Co Cork.

William Dandy was presumably returning home on leave when he travelled on RMS Leinster on the 10th of October. He survived the sinking and when rescued, was taken to the King George V military hospital in Dublin. He was not discharged until the 18th of November having developed influenza. His personal effects were recovered from the water and were sent to HQ in Woking from Dublin on the 14th – they appeared not to know that he was still in hospital.

Not only had William’s eldest brother Thomas enlisted, but so also had his two other brothers James and Harry. Thomas was killed in action in late September 1918 and the Burnley Express noted in its report on his death that James had been wounded in France and that Harry was in Mesopotamia. William was named as being in the R.A.M.C.

William married Martha Aspden in 1923 and they do not appear to have had children. In the 1939 Register they were living in Brierfield near Burnley and he gave his occupation as ‘Cotton Loom Sweeper” while Martha was a Cotton Weaver. William died in 1976 aged seventy-seven.




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