The Sinking of the R.M.S. Leinster

People on board

Samuel Rozelaar

ROZELAAR, Samuel Louis

Samuel Louis Rozelaar was born in 1892 in Hackney, London to Louis Jacob Rozelaar and Rachel Sugarman (formerly Suikerman), their only child. Louis, who had been born in Amsterdam, Holland, married Rachel in London about 1890. She had been born in London, had been in the US for some time with her family, and had returned. In 1891 Louis gave his occupation as a ‘General Dealer’ while Rachel was a School Teacher. In 1901 he was a ‘Beadle’ in the Synagogue Chambers, Harrow Road, Paddington, an Askenazi-Orthodox synagogue. In 1915 he became a naturalised British citizen.

Samuel Rozelaar attended Manchester Grammar School, about twenty percent of its intake being Jewish at the time, and then at University College School in Hampstead. In 1911 he was a Law student and an involved member of the Victoria Working Lads Club, a youth club that later developed into a community centre. He joined the Public Schools Battalion when it was formed in 1914 and received his commission in the Royal Berkshire Regiment seven weeks later. His medal card shows that he first went to France in December 1915.

In March 1916, then with a Trench Mortar Battery, he was made Temporary Lieutenant with the 6th Service Battalion. He was invalided home after the first battle of the Somme with a commendation from the Brigadier-General for his work while in command of the battery. At the second battle of the Somme he was recommended for a Staff Captaincy. In April 1918 he was wounded again and subsequently transferred to the 3rd Reserve Battalion which had moved to Ireland in 1917.

Along with three other officers and a Private from this battalion, Samuel Rozelaar travelled on RMS Leinster on the 10th of October. Of the five, only Lieutenant Colonel Aveline survived. Samuel Rozelaar’s body was recovered and buried in Willesden Jewish Cemetery in London on the 17th of October, where a large headstone was raised in his honour. An obituary and a memorial piece appeared in the Jewish Chronicle and he is named on the Jewish Roll of Honour.



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