The Sinking of the R.M.S. Leinster

People on board

Margaret Phillpott

PHILLPOTT, Margaret (Minnie) née Bowles

Margaret Bowles, known as Minnie, was born in Ashchurch, Gloucestershire, in 1891 to William Bowles and Alice Edwards. Minnie was the ninth of the eleven children, all of whom were alive in 1911. William Bowles worked as a ‘Goods Checker’ at Ashchurch Station for the Midland Railway. In September 1896 he was apparently run over by a train in the dark while he was checking a coupling on the track and died at the age of forty-seven. He was buried in Ashchurch graveyard.

By 1901 Alice had moved the family to the Ladywood district of Birmingham where she was listed as a ‘Dining Room Keeper’, and eight of the children were living with her. In 1911 just four of her daughters were living with her, and one son and she was keeping a Boarder, George Phillpott, a Police Constable. Nine years later Margaret, who was eighteen at the time of the census and employed as a ‘Lacquerer’, would marry this George Phillpott.

Minnie and Alfred George Phillpott married in February 1918 and Minnie gave her address as 35 Cowell Road, Birmingham. Alfred Phillpott had enlisted in the army at this stage, and 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.



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