People on board
Robert Thompson was born on the 13th of September 1889 in Paisley, Scotland to William Thompson and Elizabeth Irvine, the youngest of their four children. William and Elizabeth were from Lisnaskea in Co Fermanagh, had married there in 1881 and their eldest child, William Francis, was born there. Their second child, John, was born in Paisley followed by Mary Ann and Robert. In Ireland William’s occupation was Farmer, but on Robert’s birth certificate he said he was a Labourer, and in the 1901 census he was a Ploughman. At that time the family were living in No 2 Oilwork Row in the small hamlet of Inkerman, in the Abbey parish, set up in 1858 to house ironstone miners.
According to Paisley's Fallen in the War by James Meikle Smith Robert Thompson attended Carbrook Street school in central Paisley and then worked as a miner at Galston, near Kilmarnock, Ayrshire. In August 1914 he was mobilised as a Royal Field Artillery reservist. He served with the 84th Battery which was in France and Flanders throughout the war.
It is not known why Robert Thompson was in Ireland in October 1918 but it is possible that he was visiting relatives of his parents in Co Fermanagh. His Soldiers’ Effects Record shows that his sole legatee was his brother William F Thompson, which suggests that neither of his parents were still alive. Probably then returning to duty he travelled on RMS Leinster on the 10th of October. He did not survive the sinking but his body was recovered and he was buried in Grangegorman Military Cemetery in Dublin.