The Sinking of the R.M.S. Leinster

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Abraham Joseph Herman

HERMAN, Abraham Joseph

According to his military records Abraham Joseph Herman was born in 1886 in Bala, North Wales but no record of this birth has been found. No census records have been identified either to confirm his age or name his parents. There are also two marriage entries in the name of Abraham Joseph Herman, in 1903 in Birkenhead to Annie Currie and in 1906 in Liverpool to Annie Cohen. Both these marriages appear in different entries in the military records. A child, Vera Leah Herman, was born in November 1904 to Annie Herman née Corrie and they are together in Waterloo, Liverpool in the 1911 census.

Abraham Herman enlisted at Liverpool in the Royal Garrison Artillery on the 22nd of May 1915 according to his Attestation Papers, but subsequent records give the year as 1916. He was ‘At Home’ until April 1917 when he was posted to Salonica until June of that year. He was then with the Egyptian Expeditionary Force until May 1918 when he was posted to France. He was granted leave from the 4th until the 10th of October 1918 and he gave his contact address for that period as ‘Old Abbey, West St. Drogheda, Ireland’. His connection to Drogheda has not been established. Returning to duty on the 10th, he travelled on RMS Leinster but did not survive the sinking and his body was not recovered.

Throughout 1919 and 1920 the authorities tried to find next-of-kin or relatives of Abraham Herman, including writing to the Chief Constable in Drogheda. The address he had given on his military records was 30 Greek Street in Liverpool and in July 1920 a member of the ‘Plain Clothes Duty’, presumably police, went to that address. There they spoke to a Catherine Donald, who had been there in the 1911 census. She reported that “a woman named Annie Curry had stayed at that address with the above named soldier (Abraham Herman) as his wife and is now living in Waterloo”. The police report went on to detail that Annie Curry had been arrested under the name Annie Herman in January 1918 for obtaining £56 12s by false pretences from Military Authorities. A man who had been living with her had joined the army in the name of her husband and negotiated a Separation Allowance, claiming her and her child as his. Annie Herman admitted receiving the money and was sentenced to three months in jail.

Despite the fact that there were marriage certificates for both Annie Currie and Annie Cohen a note on Abraham Cohen’s Medal Card stated that he had died intestate with no next-of-kin. His name is recorded on the Hollybrook Memorial in Southampton. His daughter Vera Leah Herman married Edward J Lawson in 1931 and died in 1939.



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