The Sinking of the R.M.S. Leinster

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John Francis Hullay

HULLAY, John Francis (Frank)

John Francis Hullay, known as Frank, was born in Tadcaster, between York and Leeds, in 1885 to James Francis Hullay and Hannah Merryweather. He was the eldest of their three children. When Frank was born James was Postmaster of Tadcaster, a position that his parents had held before him. In the 1891 census the family, including Hannah’s widowed father, was living in the Post Office in High Street. In 1894 James Hullay was in court accused of retaining a letter containing a cheque due to the Post Office in London. It emerged that he had held the letter back because he did not have the funds to cover the cheque. The judge fined him £25 and did not jail him, querying the system and noting his previous good character.

By the time of the 1901 census James Hullay was no longer a Postmaster, instead giving his occupation as a ‘Coal Merchant’. In 1911 this was ‘Coal Dealer and Carting Agent’. The family had moved by 1901 to Westfield Terrace, where they would remain. Frank worked as a ‘Brewery Clerk’ at Samuel Smith’s Old Brewery in Tadcaster, Yorkshire’s oldest brewery.

Frank joined the Yorkshire Hussars early in the war and in 1918 was Staff Sergeant-Major in the 2/1st Regiment. He had been stationed at Bridlington in Yorkshire before his unit moved to Ireland in April 1918. Along with eleven other members of the Yorkshire Hussars he was returning to England on leave when they travelled on RMS Leinster on the 10th of October. Only three of the group survived, not including Frank Hullay, but his body was recovered and he was buried in Grangegorman Military Cemetery in Dublin. A headstone in the cemetery was erected in memory of the men from the Yorkshire Hussars, and Frank Hullay’s name is also recorded on the Tadcaster Memorial.



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