The Sinking of the R.M.S. Leinster

People on board

Jesse Leighfield


Jesse Leighfield was born in Wroughton, Wiltshire in November 1887 to George Leighfield and Emily Freegard, the eighth of ten children. George was a Painter as was his eldest son and in the 1901 census Jesse, then aged fourteen, was a Labourer in the Railway Factory. In 1911 he was living with his married eldest sister Caroline in Battersea in London where he was a Shop Assistant. He married Clara Nicholls in July 1915 in Highbury, Islington and they had one daughter, Joan, born in 1916.

Jesse Leighfield enlisted in the King’s (Liverpool) Regiment in August 1914 and was a Private, No 54332, in the 3rd Battalion. He was stationed in Stirling, Woolwich, Edinburgh and Dreghorn before moving to Kinsale in Ireland in November 1917 with the 25th Reserve Brigade. In a transcript of his record his home address was given as Finsbury Park, London.

Along with eighteen other soldiers from the King’s (Liverpool) Regiment he travelled on RMS Leinster on the 10th October 1918. Fourteen of these men did not survive the sinking. Jesse Leighfield’s body was recovered from the sea at Port Logan on the west coast of Scotland on the 8th of November and he was buried in Camden cemetery in London on the 16th.

His widow Clara, then living on Three Sisters Road, Holloway, received a pension of 20s 5p in May 1919.

NOTE: The evidence for this man being on R.M.S. Leinster on 10th October 1918 is circumstantial but compelling


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