People on board
PHILLPOTT, Alfred George
Alfred George Phillpott was born in July 1888 in the village of Humberstone, just outside Leicester. He was the sixth of the eight children of Arthur Bentley Phillpott and Mary Elizabeth Griffin. Arthur was a ‘Shoe Clicker’, cutting the uppers of shoes or boots from a piece of leather, while Mary Elizabeth was born in Dublin but had been working as a servant in Northampton, where they married in 1875. In the 1901 census three of the family were working in the shoe-making business, as well as their father. The eldest son, Ernest Arthur, had joined Northamptonshire Regiment, and served in the Boer War, in India and Mesopotamia.
Having worked as a ‘Shoe Clicker’ from the age of fourteen Alfred George Phillpott joined the Birmingham Police Force in 1902 and was based in Ladywood. In the 1911 census, named as George Phillpott, a ‘Police Constable’, he was a Boarder in a house run by a widow, Alice Bowles. She was living with four unmarried daughters and an eighteen year old son. Nine years later, in February 1918, he would marry Margaret, the youngest of those daughters.
In the meantime Alfred George Phillpott had enlisted in 1915 with the Royal Warwickshire Regiment and was attached to the Army Gymnastics Staff. According to a report in the Birmingham Gazette in October 1918 he had been acting as Gymnastics Instructor to the Somerset Yeomanry for some time and was based in Ireland. That is presumably why Alfred and his new wife were together on RMS Leinster on the 10th of October, travelling from Dublin. Neither survived the sinking of the ship, nor were their bodies recovered. Alfred’s name is recorded on the Hollybrook Memorial in Southampton, and both his and Margaret’s names are inscribed on her father’s grave in Ashchurch, Gloucestershire.