The Sinking of the R.M.S. Leinster

People on board

Harold Locke

LOCKE, Harold

Harold Luck and his twin brother Lionel were born in 1873 in Hartlip, near Sittingbourne in Kent, to Frederick Luck and Harriott Elizabeth Goord. In 1875 Frederick, of Dane House in Hartlip, changed his name to Locke under the will of his maternal great aunt. Lionel and Harold were the tenth and eleventh of the fourteen sons and two daughters of Frederick and Harriott, some of whom changed their name back to Luck. Frederick was a J.P. and Deputy Lieutenant for the county of Kent and the city of Canterbury and most of his sons served in the military or Civil Service, in England and abroad.

Frederick died in 1890 and in the census of the following year Harold and Lionel and their three younger brothers were in Borden Grammar School in Sittingbourne. In the 1901 census Harold was found as a Visitor at Annesgrove, Castletownroche, Co Cork in the household of Sara Grove Annesley. He gave his occupation as Land Agent and it is possible that he was there in a professional capacity. Sara had been widowed in 1892 and was living with her two surviving sons, aged twenty-one and eighteen, on the family estate. It is not clear what role Harold Locke held at that time, or later, but from 1903 there are many references to him in the newspapers in relation to horses and meets on the estate.

In 1907 Sara’s eldest son, Richard, married, having succeeded to the estate, and later the same year she married Harold Locke in Dalkey, Co Dublin. On the marriage certificate she gave her address as Dalkey and he as Castletownroche. In 1911 they were living on Nerano Road in Dalkey with Sara’s younger son Warden Beresford, who had joined the East Kent Regiment, but gave his occupation as ‘Engineering Mechanic’. From 1914 at least, Harold and Sara lived at ‘Fortal’ in Killiney and were involved in local activities such as the Dublin Y.M.C.A., the Temple Hill Convalescent Home for Soldiers and the Royal Hospital for Incurables.

In October 1918 Harold Locke was listed as Captain in the Royal Irish Regiment; it has been suggested that he was in the 1st Battalion which was fighting in Egypt at the time, though this is not confirmed. In November 1915 in a newspaper list of ‘Departures from Kingstown per Royal Mail Steamer’ Lieut. and Mrs Harold Locke were named, which indicates that he was in the army at that time. It was on a similar Royal Mail Steamer that he met his death in October 1918. It is not known where he was travelling, but Harold Locke did not survive the sinking of RMS Leinster nor was his body recovered.

His Will was not probated until March 1920. Sara lived until 1929, dying in de Vesci Terrace in Dun Laoghaire. Harold’s name is recorded on the Hollybrook Memorial in Southampton, on the Roll of Honour in Borden School, on similar in the Parish Church in Hartlip and on a Memorial Cross in Hartlip village.



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