The Sinking of the R.M.S. Leinster

People on board

Gilbert Turburville

TURBURVILLE, Gilbert George

Gilbert George Turburville was born in Shoreditch, Middlesex in March 1900 to Henry George Turburville and Alice Mundy, the third of eleven children. Henry Turburville was a Cabinet Maker, his father before him a Carpenter and Alice’s father was also a Cabinet Maker. The Turburvilles, of French origin, had been granted land in Breconshire by William the Conqueror in 1066.

The family were recorded as living in Shoreditch in the 1901 census but had moved to 55 Spencer Road, Stoke Newington by 1911. Alice and her two eldest teenage daughters were then all working as ‘Nursery Sewers’, while the younger children, including eleven-year-old Gilbert, were at school or were infants.

It is not known when Gilbert Turburville enlisted as the only military record found is from 1918 when he was with the 2/1st regiment of the Scottish Horse. This second-line regiment was formed in 1914, was converted to a cyclist unit in 1916 and in April 1918 was moved to Limerick. There were fifteen other soldiers, apart from Turburville, from the Scottish Horse on board R.M.S. Leinster on the 10th October, mostly young Privates. Eleven did not survive.

The first telegram to arrive at Spencer Road from Limerick on the 15th of October informed Mrs Turberville (sic) with “much regret no trace of Private G.G. Turberville.” However, on the 17th came the news that he had been “rescued Ex-SS Leinster and was now at Rest Camp Dublin.” Among the memories of that time was a small New Testament inscribed inside the front cover “Presented to Pte. G. Turburville 2/1st Scottish Horse, Survivor of the SS LEINSTER by Nurse Smith V.A.D. of Kingstown Ireland Oct 12 1918.”

The following June, aged nineteen, Gilbert Turburville married Katherine Lily Webb in Stoke Newington and a daughter, Pamela, was born in 1931. In the 1939 Register Gilbert and Katherine were living in Hillingdon and his occupation was given as ‘Production Progress Aircraft’. He died in August 1971 in Herne Bay in Kent.



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