Swansea Family History
Swansea Family History 




This April marks the 104th anniversary of the sinking of RMS (Royal Mail Steamer) Titanic on the 15th April 1912, during her maiden voyage from Southampton to New York with the loss of 1,500 lives. Many of those on board were embarking on a new life in America.

The RMS Titanic was only listed in the Lloyds Register once. It comes as no surprise that there is a connection with Swansea and the surrounding areas, with several men being either passengers or crew on the fated ship. They were David Bowen, boxer (victim) Evan Davies, Swansea Valley (victim); Wilfred Cyril Foley, Swansea born (survivor); William John Rogers, Swansea valley (victim); Robert William Norman Leyshon, living in Swansea; his father was a prominent Swansea solicitor (victim); Owen Wilmore Samuel, worked and lived at Ben Evans, Temple Street (victim) and Leslie Williams, boxer (and victim).

I was contacted by Mrs Moseley from Newton, regarding the Titanic. Here is her story;

My mother’s first husband was on board the Titanic. Leslie Williams, 28, (pictured above left) came from Tonypandy and was a professional boxer. Travelling on the same ticket was a fellow boxer, David Bowen from Treorchy, Rhondda. Their manager, Charles A. Barnett had arranged a series of boxing fights in America for them. The two men boarded the Titanic at Southampton. Both men lost their lives in the sinking. 

 Leslie Williams was the 14th body to be recovered by the cable repair ship Mackay Bennett. Leslie was identified by his effects. He was wearing at the time, a blue serge suit, a red striped shirt, two scarves and a green overcoat. His effects included, two pocket books; two gold rings; a pair of silver cuff links; a ticket; papers; a pocketknife; $30 in gold; £3 10s and £2 6s 6d. in silver and copper coins. All his effects were returned to my mother who wanted Leslie to be brought back to Wales for burial. Unfortunately Leslie had been buried at sea on 22nd April 1912. His friend, David Bowen was never recovered. At the time of the sinking, Leslie and my mother had one son, also named Leslie, she gave birth to their second son, Haroldin July 1912. My father, Dan Winter promised that if anything were to happen to Leslie he would look after my mother, which he did and they finally got married in 1914. 

There is no single or standard format for a completed passenger list, as they vary in size, depending on the shipping line. They are either hand-written as is the case in the RMS Titanic or they are typed.  Information that can be obtained from them may include, the person’s name, where they called home, their age, occupation and marital status.

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© Charles Wilson-Watkins