The Sinking of the R.M.S. Leinster

People on board

William Stephen Hall

HALL, William Stephen

William Stephen Hall was born on 30 October 1869 in London to William Stephen Hall and Theresa Adelina Talkington. He was the second of six children, his older sister dying at the age of twenty one and a younger brother dying in infancy. William Hall Snr. was a Master Tailor and the family lived close to St Pancras Station in central London until moving to Finchley in the north west of the city in the 1880s. In the 1891 census William Jun. was working as a Tailor’s Cutter, while his brother Frederick was a Tailor’s Apprentice, both presumably working with their father.

In 1896 William married Edith Cooze in Finchley. A son, Eric Stephen, was born in 1897 and a daughter, Olive Edith, in 1904. By 1911 both the families of William and Edith, and his parents William and Theresa, had moved again to Pinner in north west London. Both continued with the same tailoring jobs, while a brother, Gerald, living with the parents, was a Photographic Artist.

William first enlisted with the 9th Middlesex Regiment, where he was Acting Colour Sergeant. He then moved to the 5th South Lancashire Regiment with the rank of Lieutenant. The Battalion fought at Passchendaele and in April 1918 were deployed to Ireland and stationed in Dublin. There are family memories of travelling on a troop ship to visit him during school holidays. He travelled on RMS Leinster on 10 October 1918, returning home on leave or, again from family memories, to sign paperwork to go into partnership with the Pilkington Glass Company. He did not survive the sinking but his body was recovered. He was given a military funeral and his remains were interred in Grangegorman Military Cemetery in Dublin. His will was probated in December 1918, in which he left over £1,000 to his widow.

William’s son, Eric Stephen, had enlisted in the Middlesex Regiment in September 1914, having turned seventeen the previous July. He was in France from 1916 and suffered shell-shock in 1917 and mustard gas poisoning in the trenches. He survived the war and was demobbed in 1919 but suffered from damaged lungs and died young.


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