People on board
George Rayner was born in 1889 in Chorlton, Lancashire, a suburb of Manchester to George Rayner and Mary Booth. He was the second of their eleven children, only four of them alive in 1911. In the 1891 census his parents were alone in Parker Street, Hulme and it would appear that George and his older brother John were in care. However despite this difficult start to their lives George and John were among the four children who survived, the others all dying at a young age.
Throughout the 1890s, and given on the children’s baptism entries, George Rayner’s occupation was a ‘Cloth Stamper’. In the 1901 census he was a Warehouse Porter, while his wife Mary was a Charwoman and John was a ’Nipper’ – a lorry boy assisting with the collection and delivery of goods. Mary was a widow by 1911, John was married and George was working as a ‘Lapper’ in the cloth industry. In May 1916 George married Lottie Broadley and they had a son, George, in 1917. They were then living in Prestwich. In 1918 it was reported in the Manchester Evening News that he had been employed by Messrs. Bentley, Bradford Road, Manchester.
It is not known when George Rayner enlisted in the Lancashire Hussars but in October 1918 he was with the 2/1st Regiment which had moved to Ireland in May 1918 and were stationed in Co Cork. This was a training / draft unit so it is not known if he was returning on leave or about to go to the front when he travelled on the 10th on RMS Leinster. He did not survive the sinking but his body was recovered and he was buried in Grangegorman Military Cemetery. His brother John enlisted with the Manchester Regiment and survived the war.
Lottie Rayner remarried in 1919 to Harold Bowman and again in 1934 to Thomas Bowker. In the 1939 Register they were living in Manchester and both Thomas Bowker and George Raynor, then aged twenty-two, were working as Aircraft Fitters.