The Sinking of the R.M.S. Leinster
 

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Reuben John Wells

WELLS, Reuben John

Reuben John Wells was born in the village of Goff’s Oak near Cheshunt, Hertfordshire in 1895 to John Joseph Wells and Harriet Amelia Aldridge. He was the eldest of their eleven children, eight living in 1911 and three more born after that date. John Wells gave his occupation in 1901 as a Domestic Gardener and in 1911 as a Farm Labourer. That year Reuben, aged fifteen, declared himself a ‘Nursery Hand’. He had attended Dewhurst Endowed Boys School in Cheshunt, leaving in 1909, ‘Gone to Work’.

Reuben Wells enlisted in the Hertfordshire Regiment, Service Number 4106, where he was an Acting Corporal. He was with the 1st Regiment which was in France from November 1914, but it is not certain that he fought in France. He transferred to the Suffolk Regiment where he was Lance Corporal in the 14th Battalion. This battalion was formed from “Home Service Personnel only”, but the Register of Soldiers’ Effects entry for Reuben Wells shows that he was “Attached 12th Officer Cadets”. It is uncertain why he was in Ireland in October 1918 but, returning to England, he travelled on RMS Leinster on the 10th. He did not survive the sinking but his body was recovered and he was buried in Deansgrange Military Cemetery in Dublin.

His name is recorded on the Goff’s Oak Cenotaph and on the Memorial Plaque in St James Church in memory of the parishioners of Goff’s Oak who lost their lives in the war.

 

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