The Sinking of the R.M.S. Leinster

People on board

Edgar Thomas Reynolds

REYNOLDS, Edgar Thomas

Edgar Thomas Reynolds was born in Montreal on the 4th of June 1883 to Thomas Mark Reynolds and Ellen Maria Donovan, the eldest of their four children. Thomas Reynolds, a School Teacher, had emigrated to Canada in 1871 from Co Down while Ellen Donovan, though born in Massachusetts, was also from an Irish-born family. The Reynolds family lived in the town of Côte St-Antoine, later renamed Westmount, part of the city of Montreal.

Edgar Reynolds was one of the founding group of the Duchess of Connaught’s Own Irish-Canadian Rangers, known as the 55th, set up at the end of 1914. He took the role of Captain-Adjutant and was promoted Major in July 1916. In February 1916 the 55th Rangers were designated the 199th Overseas Battalion and recruiting  of Irish Canadians, Catholic and Protestant, took place in Montreal. On the 15th of December 1916 the battalion left Halifax for Liverpool on the SS Olympic and in January/February 1917 they made a tour of Ireland, visiting Dublin, Armagh, Belfast, Cork and back to Dublin.

The 199th were then sent to France where the battalion never fought as a unit but the men were used as replacements in other Canadian units. At the end of September 1918 Edgar Thomas Reynolds was given fourteen days leave to the UK, part of which he spent in Ireland. It is not known if he was visiting relatives in Co Down but there were many Reynolds there in the 1911 census. He was returning to the UK when he travelled on RMS Leinster on the 10th of October. He survived the sinking and was taken to the King George V Hospital in Dublin as reported in some newspapers. This was confirmed by an entry on his military record – ‘10-10-1918 King George V Hos, Dublin (Tel.) Ex S.S. Leinster’. He was discharged on the 22nd and his leave was extended to the 30th. He returned to France where he was again in hospital in Camiers in January 1919 with influenza.

Edgar Reynolds returned to Canada in early May 1919 and in the 1921 census he was living in Montreal with his widowed mother, his father having died in 1918, and two of his siblings. He gave his occupation as ‘Manager in Printing’. In 1933 he was described as Managing Director and in 1945 as Vice President. In September 1932 he married Mary Louise Clifford in Kennebunkport, Maine and a son, who they named Edgar Thomas, was born in 1933 in Montreal. Edgar Thomas Reynolds died in June 1971 in Montreal aged eighty-eight.



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