The Sinking of the R.M.S. Leinster

People on board

Thomas Prosser


Thomas Prosser was born in 1875 in the village of Mordiford near Hereford to Joseph Prosser and Mary Maria Cockerell, the fifth of their eight children. Joseph was a Shepherd and the family had moved from nearby Withington shortly before Thomas’s birth. In 1897 he married Elizabeth Brown from Hartlebury in Worcestershire. He may already have been a soldier as their first child, Thomas William, was born in Multan, Bengal where he was with the Royal Garrison Artillery.

Their next child, Phyllis Winifred, was born in July 1900 in Great Yarmouth where they were living in the South Denes Barracks. In the 1901 census Thomas Prosser was shown to be a Sergeant in the R.G.A. In January of that year Joseph Prosser died when “Accidentally thrown to road by upsetting of cart at road junction”. The next child, George Percival, was born in 1902 in Worcestershire, possibly because Thomas was preparing to move to Scotland with the army. There, Thomas William died at the age of five, but two more daughters were born, Winifred May in 1905 and Dorothy Eileen in 1909.

In the 1911 census the family was living in three rooms at 23 Rosemount Viaduct in Aberdeen, where Thomas was an “Army Sgt. Major Instructor in Territorial Force”. On the 10th of September he re-enlisted in the Royal Garrison Artillery in Aberdeen, giving his occupation as ‘Caretaker’.

His medal card shows that he first served in France in March 1915 but his very limited military records only then give his final posting in September 1918 to the R.G.A. 31 Cork Fire Command at Bere Island, Cork.

Presumably returning from Ireland on leave to Aberdeen, Thomas Prosser travelled on RMS Leinster on the 10th of October. He did not survive the sinking but his body was recovered and he was buried in Grangegorman Military Cemetery in Dublin. His name is recorded on the Hartlebury War Memorial Cross. His widow Elizabeth and children returned to Hartlebury from Aberdeen after his death, where they were living in Summerfield Villas when his will was probated in May 1919, leaving just over £200.

Thomas Prosser

     Photo courtesy of Robert Jones



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