The Sinking of the R.M.S. Leinster

People on board

Harold Pickles


Harold Pickles was born in Burnley, Lancashire in 1893 to John Thomas Pickles and Ellen Cunliffe. He was the fifth of their six children and all worked in the cotton mills from their teens. Ellen Pickles died between the 1901 and 1911 censuses and during that period the family moved to 31 Calder Vale Road in Burnley. Harold worked as a ‘twisting machine operator’ in Stanfield’s Mill in George Street.

Early in 1918 Harold Pickles married Ada Watson, daughter of a Cabinet Maker in Burnley. Harold enlisted in April in the Royal Welsh Fusiliers and was sent to Ireland with the 3rd Garrison Battalion which was based in Limerick. He was apparently returning to England on sick leave when he travelled on RMS Leinster on the 10th of October along with twenty other R.W.F. men.

The Burnley Express reported on the 19th that Ada Pickles had received word that Harold had boarded the ship but nothing more had been heard of him. His body was never recovered. The newspaper reported that four of his brothers were also in the army, and all survived. At the time of his death Ada was living in the Pickles home in Calder Vale Road but she subsequently moved back to her parents’ home in Hinton Street.

In October 1919 the Burnley Express published six notices from various members of his family remembering his death. His name is also recorded on the Hollybrook Memorial in Southampton and on the Burnley Roll of Honour.



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