The Sinking of the R.M.S. Leinster

People on board

John Entwistle


The Freeman’s Journal reported on the 12th of October 1918 that “Mr John Entwistle, Old Trafford, who is among the survivors, was a leading pig sales man in the Manchester market, and had considerable connection in Irish trade”. From this, it is not clear if it was John Highpike Entwistle who was on board RMS Leinster when it was sunk or his son John Edward Entwistle, then aged thirty-two, both of whom worked in the pig trade.

John Highpike Entwistle was born in Bury, Lancashire in 1854 to Thomas Entwistle and Jane Highpike, the third of their four identified children. Thomas was a Butcher and after he died in 1868, aged thirty-nine, his widow continued the business which was specified in the 1871 and 1881 censuses as a Pork Butcher, while John was also identified as a Pork Butcher. In 1881 he married Elizabeth Manly in Liverpool, daughter of a Mariner, and he gave Moorgate, Bury as his address.

John and Elizabeth had seven children but the last four, two boys and two girls, all died in infancy. John Edward, born on the 27th of September 1886, was the second surviving child and the only son. The family lived in Water Street in Manchester initially and then moved to 6 Darwen Street, Old Trafford, Stretford where they stayed. In the censuses John Highpike described himself as a ‘Hog Salesman’ and in the 1911 census the three children, aged twenty-eight, twenty-four, and nineteen were all ‘Hog Salesman Assistants’.

John Edward Entwistle married Annie Webster in 1913 in Prestwich and they had a son, John Douglas, in 1917. It can be assumed that either John Highpike or John Edward had travelled to Ireland to buy pigs for the Manchester market in October 1918. As this appears to have been a fairly regular trip they would have been familiar with the lay-out of the ship and would have been known to the crew. There is no report in any of the newspapers of their experience or if they were hospitalised, but they presumably returned to Manchester in the following days.

John Highpike Entwistle died in July 1919, aged sixty-five, and it is reasonable to speculate that, if it were he that had travelled to Ireland the previous year, then he had been affected by his hours in the water and perhaps other injuries, not least shock. In 1922 Annie Entwistle née Webster gave birth to their second child Dorothy, but died the same year. In 1928 John Edward Entwistle married Evelyn Hilda Nicholson in Scarborough and they had a daughter Joan in 1930. In the 1939 Register they were recorded as living in Sale, where John gave his occupation as a ‘Wholesale Meat Manager’. Elizabeth Entwistle née Manly had also moved to Sale and died there in 1943. John Edward Entwistle died in Seamer, near Scarborough in 1956. All the family were buried in Southern Cemetery in Manchester.



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