The Sinking of the R.M.S. Leinster

People on board

John Sutton


John Sutton was born about 1861 in Saughall, Chester to John Sutton and Elizabeth Cottrell, the eldest of their three children. John Sutton Snr. was a Gardener and sometime between 1871 and 1881 the family moved to Llangollen in Wales where John had been appointed Head Gardener on the estate of John Dickin. This was Tyn Dwr Hall, built in the 1860s for Ironmaster Dickin, who extended the estate to almost 1200 acres. In the 1881 census John Jnr. aged eighteen, was a ‘Coachman Dom.’ probably to the Dickin family.

In October 1889 John Sutton married Mary Ann Ellen Davies in Abergele, a small town on the north coast of Wales where he was working as a Groom. In 1891 they were living in Chester where John was a Coachman and Domestic Servant and their first child, Catherine, had been born. Shortly after this they moved back to Abergele where two more daughters, Ada and Evelyn, were born. They lived at 11 Mount Pleasant, where John continued as a Coachman.

It is not known when John joined the army, as few records exist, but he enlisted in the Royal Welsh Fusiliers at Colwyn Bay, later transferring to the Royal Defence Corps. In 1918, at the age of fifty-five, he was a Lance Corporal. The RDC was grouped into ‘Protection Companies’, some of which served in Ireland. It can be assumed that this was why John Sutton was travelling on RMS Leinster on the 10th of October 1918.

He did not survive the sinking and his body was not recovered, but he is remembered on the Hollybrook Memorial in Southampton and on the Abergele War Memorial.



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