The Sinking of the R.M.S. Leinster

People on board

Janet Muriel Hemsworth McDermid

McDERMID, Janet Muriel Hemsworth née Witty

Janet Muriel Hemsworth Witty was born in 1892 in Driffield, Yorkshire to William Dickon Witty and Eliza Beatrice Turner. There were nine children born into the family but only four survived. William was a ‘Corn Miller Traveller’ and the family lived at various addresses in Driffield. Janet married Clarence Edwin McDermid, a Sergeant in the Royal Army Medical Corps, in October 1917. The ceremony, which took place in Driffield, was conducted by a Chaplain to H.M. Forces.

Clarence McDermid was stationed in Ireland in 1918 and Janet was with him in October when she got word that her father William Witty had died. The couple were travelling to England for the funeral on the 10th of October on RMS Leinster when the ship was torpedoed. Janet was rescued and brought back to Kingstown but Clarence’s body was never recovered. (see his story)

In May 1919 Janet received a pension of 16s 3d a week from the Ministry for Pensions. She was then back in Driffield with her mother and two sisters living in Belle Vue, Beverley Road. Eliza Witty died in June 1927 and Janet remarried the following September to William Blair Smillie of Glasgow. The Driffield Times reported that there were no guests at the wedding “owing to the recent loss of the bride’s mother”. They subsequently lived at North Claremont St in Glasgow. Janet was with her two unmarried sisters in Driffield in the 1939 Register, presumably visiting, as she said she was married. She died in Buckrose, Yorkshire in 1963.



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