The Sinking of the R.M.S. Leinster

People on board

James Ratcliffe


James Joseph Godfrey Ratcliffe was born in Dublin c. 1885, son of William and Elizabeth Ratcliffe. His father was a Clerk with the Great Southern and Western Railway and the family lived in 7 Granite Terrace, beside the G. S. & W. Railway Works at Inchicore. His father died at the age of 40 in 1895 leaving a widow, Elizabeth, age 36 and 7 children.  James was the eldest at 13, the youngest, Ethel, being 11 months old.

In 1909, James, then working as a Clerk, married Margaret Dunne in St. James Church, Dublin. They had a daughter, Veronica, who died at the age of 3 and a son, William. In 1911 they were living with Elizabeth’s family in Adelaide Terrace.

In 1915, James enlisted in the Army Pay Corps and the following year was transferred to the 11th Battalion, Royal Irish Fusiliers. He was listed as absent without leave on several occasions and on 16th July 1918 was again transferred, this time to the 7th Training Battalion of the Royal Army Medical Corps in Blackpool.

On 10th October 1918 James was travelling on the RMS Leinster, presumably returning from leave in Dublin, and was lost in the sinking. A daughter, Margaret, was born on 27th November 1918. James body was not recovered.



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