The Sinking of the R.M.S. Leinster

People on board

James Maurice Finleon

FINLEON, James Maurice

James Maurice Finleon was born in West Wawanosh Township, Huron County, Ontario on 9th July 1895. His baptism record gives his middle name as Morris but he seems to have normally used the spelling Maurice. He was a son of Thomas Finleon, a farmer and his wife, Matilda (née Deveraux), both of Irish descent. In May 1918, at the age of 23, he was conscripted into the Canadian Army, giving his occupation as farmer and naming his brother, Joseph, as beneficiary in his Will. Three months later he embarked on the H.M.T. “Pannonia” for England arriving on 16th August 1918. On arrival he was transferred to the 4th Canadian Reserve Battalion at Witley Camp, Surrey. This was one of two large military training camps on Witley Common in Surrey catering for some of the 424,000 Canadian soldiers sent overseas.

James’ records show that he had completed 4 weeks of training and was apparently returning from leave in October 1918 on the RMS Leinster when it was torpedoed. He died in the sinking, 5 months after joining the Canadian Expeditionary Force. Initially reported as missing, his body was recovered and buried in Grangegorman Cemetery, Dublin. He is also remembered on the Halifax Memorial.


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