The Sinking of the R.M.S. Leinster

People on board

William Kerrigan


William Kerrigan was born in 1883 in Manchester to Thomas Kerrigan and Catherine (Kate) Kennedy, the eldest of their three children. Thomas was a ‘Master Joiner’, born in Ireland as had Kate. She died in 1890 at the age of thirty-three and Thomas Kerrigan was with his three young children in Reather Street in the 1891 census. By 1901 they had moved in with his three sisters, living in Monsall Street in the north of the city. The two boys, William aged seventeen and Joseph aged sixteen, were working as ‘Cloth Maker Up’ and ‘Wood Turner’ respectively.

In 1911 Thomas, with his two sons and one daughter, was living with one sister in Monsall Street, all in employment. William, then aged twenty-eight, was a ‘Warehouseman Calico Printers’. In May 1913 he married Emily Waters in Chorlton on Medlock on the other side of Manchester. In the 1911 census Emily, a ‘Shopgirl Skirts’, was living with her four sisters and widowed mother in Egerton Terrace, and with her Waters grandmother from Ireland also in the household. William and Emily had two children, Thomas in 1914 and William in 1918. Thomas Snr died in 1915 aged sixty-one.

It would appear that William Kerrigan enlisted in the King’s Liverpool Regiment, Service Number 26211, and in February 1913 transferred to the Labour Corps, Service Number 257642. In October 1918 he was with the 659th Home Service Employment Company attached to the King’s Liverpool Regiment in Victoria Barracks in Cork (the 3rd Reserve Battalion had been in Cork from 1917). Returning home on leave he travelled on RMS Leinster on the 10th of October but he did not survive the sinking, nor was his body recovered. His name is recorded on the Hollybrook Memorial in Southampton. A W. Kerrigan is recorded on two Manchester Memorials.

Emily’s address on correspondence relating to a pension was Egerton Terrace, Stockport Road, close to her family. In May 1919 she was awarded a pension of 25s 5d a week for herself and her two sons. At the time of the 1939 census she was living in Hamilton Road, Manchester with her unmarried son Thomas who was a Registry Clerk with the B.B.C.



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