The Sinking of the R.M.S. Leinster

People on board

Walter Holes Olliver


OLLIVER, Walter Holes

Walter Holes Olliver was born on the 20th November 1885 in Heathcote, near Christchurch, New Zealand to Thomas Stanmer Olliver and Jane Susannah Holes. Thomas was a ‘Brickmaker’ in Sussex, England and he emigrated to New Zealand in 1874 with his wife and five children. Eight more children were born in Heathcote, Walter being the second youngest.

Walter married Margaret Ellen McMeekin in 1909 and a son, James Walter, was born in 1913. They lived in Christchurch where Walter was a ‘Tailor’. He enlisted at the end of May 1918, then described as a ‘Teamster’, and embarked for Europe on the 9th September, although Margaret was pregnant with their second child. His military records show that he was transferred to A Company 47th on the 9th October, but there is no reference to being on RMS Leinster on the 10th.

On the 18th October Walter Olliver was granted a ‘Certificate of Leave in Lieu of Discharge’, and returned to New Zealand. On the 10th November Charles Keith McMeekin Olliver was born in Christchurch, while Walter was stuck in the North Island due to Spanish flu travel restrictions. He never got home to see his wife before she died on the 13th November.

In 1919 he was listed on the Electoral Rolls as being a farmer in Springbank, north of Christchurch. In 1924 he married Elizabeth May Prebble and they moved to Winchmore, south west of Christchurch, where Walter continued farming. He took his own life in 1944 after suffering from depression caused by physical and mental exhaustion, according to the inquest. He was buried beside his first wife in Sydenham Cemetery in Christchurch.



  Home        The Sinking        Commemoration        Poetry        People on board        Books & Bulletins        Contact        Privacy