The Sinking of the R.M.S. Leinster

People on board

John Wilson Smiley

SMILEY, John Wilson

John Wilson Smiley was born in Derry on the 11th of April 1872 to John Smiley and Lavinia Kennedy. John Smiley was a Joiner from Birkenhead, and Lavinia was from Derry, where their marriage took place. John gave Birkenhead as his address on the marriage certificate and also on the birth certificates of Annie Maria in 1870 and John Wilson in 1872, even though both were born in Derry. The next two boys, William and Thomas, were born in Oxton, the suburb of Birkenhead where the family settled.

In the 1891 census John Wilson was a Clerk with a Cotton Broker and in 1901 he was a Commercial clerk. Both parents died during the 1890s and in 1901 John Wilson was living in Birkenhead with his sister and younger brother, all unmarried. In the 1911 census he was a visitor in a Smiley household in Derry who were probably cousins, and this time he gave his occupation as ‘Commercial Traveller Leather’.

He was still in this business in 1918 and was travelling for Geo. Angus & Co. Ltd of Liverpool, Leather Manufacturers. He did not survive the sinking of the RMS Leinster on the 10th of October, nor was his body recovered. The Liverpool Echo reported his death on the 18th and described him as “the beloved brother of Thomas Smiley of Birkenhead”.




  Home        The Sinking        Commemoration        Poetry & Song        People on board        Books        Contact        Privacy        Our Facebook page