The Sinking of the R.M.S. Leinster

People on board

Edward Henry Gibbs

GIBBS, Edward Henry

Edward Henry GibbsEdward Henry Gibbs was born in 1888 in Berkhamstead, Hertfordshire to Henry Gibbs and Marian Luff. Henry was a Chemist on the High Street and there were also two girls in the family, Emily and Florence. In 1911, then aged twenty three, Edward had moved north to St Helens in Lancashire where he was an ’Ironmongers Assistant’. At the same time a young Irish girl, Bridget Cluxton from Calverstown, Co Kildare, was nursing in the Salford Union Infirmary, Pendleton, Lancashire. They married in January 1913 and three children followed: Henry in 1914, Edward in 1915 and Marian in 1916.

Edward first enlisted in December 1915 in the Army Reserve and the following June was posted to France, with rank of Private in the 17th Cheshire Regiment, part of the Reserve Brigade. In February 1917 he was transferred to the King’s Liverpool Regiment and in May 1917 he moved to the Labour Corps 193 Company. It is not known where he was working with the Labour Corps, but it appears likely that his wife and children had moved to Ireland to her family in Calverstown, and that Edward was returning to England from visiting them when he travelled on RMS Leinster on 10 October 1918. He survived the sinking of the ship, though in his Statement of Disability attached to his Discharge documents he said that his rheumatism was made worse from being in the water.

Those documents gave his permanent address as Calverstown, but soon afterwards the family settled in 45 Aughrim Street in the Stoneybatter area of Dublin. Further children may have been born but records are not currently available. On 17 February 1919 Edward started work as a labourer in the Arthur Guinness Brewery across the River Liffey from where he was living. He was still employed by Guinness when his son Edward married in 1940, though the family had moved to 23 Mount Brown, on James’s Street. He died in January 1951 and was buried in Mount Jerome cemetery. In a newspaper notice his wife and family thanked those who had sympathised with them, including the staff of Arthur Guinness.


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