Wednesday, 14 November 2007

RMS Leinster - October 1918

When the greatest war was over
When the battle drums were worn
When capitulation rumbled
Then the dreadful deed was done

Out of Kingstown on the Irish Sea
Carrying the Royal Mail
Came the Leinster - ship of liberty
But her liberty was frail

Bright and early one October day
Nineteen-eighteen - steaming well
Passed the Ulster on her inward way
Just before the first blow fell

With no escort steamed the Leinster on
Filled to cross to Holyhead
Seven hundred souls and seventy-one
Troops and people - on she sped
One torpedo struck her starboard aft
Struck the mail and killed the men
Leinster listed as her fragile craft
Lifeboats lowered down and then

People struggled to escape from her
She sank fast and violent
As the next torpedo finished her
Taking people - down she went

SOS her sister Ulster cried
SOS she's sinking fast
Seal and Mallard steamed up to her side
Desperate people breathed their last
Leinster sank as little ships arrived
Helga - Sprightly joined to save
Two hundred people and fifty-six survived
Taken - battered - from the wave

Don't forget the Leinster and her crew
Don't forget the fusiliers
Captain Birch and Lizzie Healy too
Purser Rowlands and the years

Years of peace beyond the greatest war
Years of grief for Leinster's loss
For the loved ones who had gone before
For the ones who tried to cross

2003 © Charlotte Peters Rock

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