People on board
Private Duffin, Suffolk Regiment, has not been positively identified. What is known is that he survived the sinking with the help of William Maher, a crewman. Both were on a life raft along with several others, including Louisa Toppin and her thirteen year old daughter Dorothy. When Dorothy was washed off the raft Maher, a thirty-three year old stoker, dived into the water and pulled her back on to the raft. Louisa Toppin wrote to the Lord Chamberlain commending William Maher and mentioned that he had also saved Private Duffin “who was beside us all the time”. Maher was awarded the Royal Humane Society Medal in September 1919 when the whole episode was once again recounted.
Private Duffin is probably Private Peter Duffin, formerly of the Royal Welsh Fusiliers and the Labour Corps. On a 1919 Certificate of Identity he gave his year of birth as 1874 and an address at 10 Hendrick Street, off Queen Street, Dublin. He enlisted in 1915 and was discharged in 1919. As the Suffolk Regiment were never posted to Ireland it would appear that Private Duffin was on board RMS Leinster on the 10th of October because he was returning from leave in Dublin.
No other information has been confirmed.