The Sinking of the R.M.S. Leinster

People on board

Jim Gambles


Jim Gambles was born in Sheffield in 1891 to James Gambles and Floretta Randle, their only child. Almost all documentation, including birth registration, gives the name as Jim, not James, and his Baptism was Jim Eric.  James Gambles’ occupation was variously given as ‘Fruit Hawker’ and ‘Carter’. The family lived in Arundel Street in Sheffield, number 11 in 1901 and later in number 257. They have not been identified in the 1911 census.

In February 1913 Jim Gambles married Elizabeth Carr and a daughter, Floretta, was born the following year. Jim gave his occupation as ‘Carter’ and Elizabeth gave hers as ‘Silver Burnisher’. They appear to have lived in Arundel Street with his parents. Jim enlisted in the Royal Army Medical Corps in November 1916 “for the duration of the war” and was assigned to the 342nd Field Ambulance.

Records have not been found to show where the 342nd Field Ambulance served but it would appear that they were in Ireland in October 1918. Presumably returning home on leave Jim Gambles travelled on RMS Leinster on the 10th, but he did not survive the sinking nor was his body recovered. His name is recorded on the Hollybrook Memorial in Southampton and on the Sheffield Roll of Honour.

Jim’s death was not officially reported to his widow Elizabeth until the 13th of November, though the family had inserted notices in the Sheffield Evening Telegraph on the 17th of October. In May 1919 Elizabeth received 22/- Separation Allowance, though no record of a pension has been found. She remarried in 1923 to Frederick Taylor and had two more children, but she was again widowed by the time of the 1939 Register.



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