The Sinking of the R.M.S. Leinster

People on board

Percy Lamble


Percival (Percy) Lamble was born in 1888 in Battersea, London to Henry and Clara Lamble, the eldest of their six children. The family lived in Battersea, where Henry was a Carpenter. In the 1901 census, when Percy was sixteen, he gave his occupation as ‘Musical Instrument Maker’. Two years later he enlisted with the Middlesex Regiment and by 1905, at the latest, he was in the Wellington Barracks in Dublin.

On the 15th of May 1905 he married Elizabeth Susan Dunn in the Mariners Church in Kingstown, for some reason giving his name as Charles John. She sometimes used the name Susan and sometimes Elizabeth or Lizzie. She had been born in Kent where her Scottish father was a Royal Marine, but the family had been in Kingstown for some years and were living in McGillick Court, off Patrick’s Street. That was where the Lamble’s first child, Martha, was born but they had moved to Mill Street by the time their next child, Edward, was born in 1908. The Dunn family also moved to Mill Street, living next door. Two more girls, Mabel and Mary, were born in 1909 and 1911. Although both Percy and Elizabeth were members of the Church of England the children were baptised as Catholic, and Percy himself is recorded as being baptised in St Michael’s Church in Kingstown in 1910.

On the night of the 1911 census Susan Lamble was in Mill Street with the four children, while Percy was in St Michael’s Hospital in Kingstown with ‘Concussion of the Brain’. While he had given his occupation as Labourer on the birth certificates of his children, in the hospital entry he was listed as ‘Fireman’, and according to Crew Lists he was working for the City of Dublin Steam Packet Co since 1902. Late in 1911 their eldest daughter died in an accident. Percy Lamble was working as a Fireman on RMS Leinster on the 10th of October 1918 and assisted in launching the lifeboats. He survived the sinking and was treated in the George V military hospital. He was awarded the Mercantile Marine Medal and the British War medal.

It is not known if he continued working on the mailboats, but it seems likely as two of his daughters put his occupation on their marriage certificates as ‘Stoker’ and ‘Seaman’. Another daughter, Clara, was born in 1915 but died within three weeks of her birth, and a sixth child, Emily, was born in 1917. A final son, Christopher Percival was born in late 1922, but died four months later. That same year Percy Lamble was listed as being in the infantry of the newly formed Irish Army at Stewart Barracks, the Curragh, Co Kildare. He died in December 1926 in Grangegorman Mental hospital, aged just thirty-nine, and was buried in Deansgrange cemetery. His wife Susan continued to live in Mill Street until her death in 1969.


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