The Sinking of the R.M.S. Leinster

Passenger Research

No passenger list for the sailing of the RMS Leinster survived the sinking so identifying the people on board on 10th October 1918 has to be done in a variety of ways. Casualties are somewhat easier than survivors and names are still coming to light over a hundred years later. This is after many years of research and validation since the launch of our website in 2003.

The City of Dublin Steam Packet Company, which owned the ship, provided a list of the crew who were working that day. The Post Office was able to name the 22 postal workers who were sorting the post on board that day. Military records, while not complete, went a long way in identifying many of the military personnel who were on board including most of the casualties but there are still a significant number of the group who survived and incomplete names are all that is available. The final group, the civilians, were the most difficult to identify, and only through newspaper reports or relatives' enquiries. There were some lists of survivors in the national newspapers in the days and weeks after the sinking but often names were mis-spelled or garbled - understandable in the chaotic scenes in which they were collected. Local newspapers are probably the richest source of information on the civilian passengers and more and more on now coming online but, by their nature, are hit and miss.

Why were they on board?

Were they in the military? If so which, branch, regiment? There are a couple of good websites that show where a regiment was in October 1918, many of them in Ireland. Individual military records may be available though many were subsequently destroyed in the Blitz.

Were they a civilian ? If so were they on board in connection with business ? - there was a small group of regular passengers doing business between Ireland and the U.K. Or was it for personal reasons ? - some examples we've had include visiting a relative in hospital, visiting family, moving to a new job.

Personal Information

Is their date of birth known?, even approximately and where they were born, and the names of their parents. Where were they in 1911 at the time of the census? - often full of incidental information.

Any family information would be useful for filling out their story. The kind of narrative that we try to create for each person can be seen from our website. Are there family stories about their experience on the RMS Leinster?


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