The Sinking of the R.M.S. Leinster

People on board

Leslie Robert Southam

SOUTHAM, Leslie Robert

Leslie Robert Southam was born in Birmingham in 1879 to Henry Southam and Emily Ruth McCready. Another son was born the following year and in the 1881 census the family employed a General Servant, a Nurse Girl and a Monthly Nurse. At that stage Henry Southam was a ‘Commercial Clerk to Cattle Salesman’, going on in later years to be a ‘Cattle Salesman’ and ‘Commission Agent’. Two daughters completed the family. In the 1901 census both Leslie and his brother Frank gave their occupation as ‘Cattle Salesman Clerk’. In Leslie’s death notice in the Birmingham Gazette it was stated that “he was a member of the well-known and old-established firm of Batchelor and Southam, Hog Salesmen, of Bordesley Street and Montague Street Pig Market”.

On the 27th of June 1906 Leslie Southam married Frances Margaret McCandless in Coleraine, Co Derry, his address then being Mosely, Birmingham. A son was born in July 1910 but died the following year. However three daughters were born in 1911, 1914 and April 1918.

Leslie Southam had become an authority on pig supplies and was frequently consulted by the Ministry for Food. In October 1918 he went to Ireland to explain to the Irish Pig Buyers Association the details of a Government scheme to supply pigs to Liverpool, Manchester, Birmingham and Bristol. He was returning from that meeting when he travelled on RMS Leinster on the 10th of October. He did not survive the sinking but his body was recovered and returned to Birmingham.

His funeral took place at Percy Barr Crematorium, attended by representatives of trade organisations as well as the Birmingham Special Constabulary, of which he had been a member. His address given then was ‘Trafalgar House, Alcester Lanes End, King’s Heath’. When his will was probated in 1919 it was found that he had left his widow over £10,000.



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