People on board
Robert Kerr was born in Greenock, Scotland on the 5th of December 1882 to Daniel Kerr and Margaret McKirdy, the third of their four children. Daniel was of the firm Messrs John Kerr and Sons, Ship-owners and when he married the daughter of the late Captain McKirdy of Rothesay “the ships in the various harbours were gaily decorated with flags and bunting in honour of the marriage”, according to the Greenock Telegraph. In 1881 it was reported that the firm had an interest in the Glebe Sugar Refinery in Greenock and owned fourteen ships employed in bringing sugar home from abroad. Daniel was also a keen cricketer and President of the Scottish Cricket Union, while his youngest son, John, represented Scotland at cricket for twenty-six years.
Robert Kerr attended the Collegiate School in Greenock where he also excelled at cricket, rugby and rowing. After school he served his apprenticeship as Accountant with a local Greenock firm before moving to London in 1905 to work with the firm Deloitte, Plender, Griffiths and Co. In the 1911 census Robert and his sister Isabella were ‘Visitors’ in the Henderson household in Hertfordshire, headed by a widow from Glasgow. He gave his occupation as Chartered Accountant.
In 1913 Robert Kerr married Mary Margaret Lander, daughter of a Solicitor, who gave her occupation in the 1911 census as ‘Masseuse’. A daughter Mona was born in 1915 and Robert was made a partner in the firm in March 1918. They were then living in “Braemar Cottage”, Ingatestone near Chelmsford in Essex. The Chelmsford Chronicle reported that Robert Kerr was a Volunteer in the 5th London Regiment and was also a Special Constable.
In October 1918 he was in Dublin on business and was returning home when he travelled on RMS Leinster on the 10th. He did not survive the sinking but his body was recovered and brought to the morgue in Dublin. It was subsequently returned to England where the funeral service was held in St Mary’s Church in Ingatestone followed by burial in Ingatestone and Fryerning cemetery.
Mary Margaret and Mona Kerr were living in Tring, Hertfordshire in the 1939 Register where Mary Margaret died in 1944. Her ashes were returned to Ingatestone and buried with Robert.