Mr Leonard Hodgkinson, 46, was born on 20th February, 1866 at 20 North Street, Stoke on Trent, Staffordshire the fifth child and second son of John Hodgkinson (a potter's presser) and Caroline (née Steele).
After schooling at St. Thomas's School, Stoke, Leonard become an apprentice engine fitter with the firm of Hartley, Armour and Fanning in Stoke. At that time he was living with his parents at 5, Knowl Street, Stoke.
On 14th February 1891 he married Sarah Clarke in West Derby, Liverpool, and for a while they may have lived with his sister and brother in law at 10 Helena Street, Walton on the Hill, Liverpool.
Leonard and Sarah had three children, all born in West Derby, Liverpool: Marian, born in 1893, Caroline (born 1895) and Leonard Stanley (born 1898).
Leonard first went to sea with the Beaver Line and then Rankin, Gilmour & Co. He achieved his First Class Engineer's Certificate and served as Chief on the Saint Jerome. By 1901, during a temporary break from seafaring, he was running his own business as a mechanical engineer and living at 40 Oakfield Road, Walton on the Hill, Liverpool. But he was back at sea with the White Star Line in 1905 as Assistant Engineer in the Celtic. According to family lore Hodgkinson had aimed to serve on as many different liners of the White Star Line as possible before retirement, so was keen to transfer to Titanic prior to which he had served aboard the Olympic.
On 2nd April 1912 he signed-on to the Titanic in Belfast for the delivery trip to Southampton. When he signed-on again (6th April) as Senior 4th Engineer, for the maiden voyage he gave his address as 67 Arthur Road, Shirley, Southampton although his permenant residence appears to have been Thurnham Street, Liverpool
Hodgkinson was the most senior of five Fourth Engineers (one of whom was a specialist for the refrigeration equipment). The qualified engineers on Titanic ensured that routine adjustments and regular maintenance of the machinery were properly carried out, dealt with any unexpected problems that might arise, and responded to orders telegraphed from the bridge. They also supervised the firemen, trimmers and greasers who worked in the boiler and engine rooms.
Hodgkinson, along with all the engineers, died in the disaster and his body was never recovered.
He left an estate worth £116 10s 10d to his widow Sarah. Sadly she also died prematurely on 25 January 1914 in Liverpool at the age of 47.
The White Star Company had a Committee meeting on 23rd July 1912 at 10 Winter Street, Liverpool at 11.55am. Present Mr. J. Bruce Ismay (in the chair) and others. During the meeting it was announced that the following cases were reported together with amounts paid into Court:
L. Hodgkinson - Senior 4th Engineer - wages £14 0 0d - Dependants - Widow and 2 children - £300.
(From the Minute Book of the White Star Company)
Number 125. Hodgkinson, Sarah, widow. Children: Caroline: Stanley. Hodkinson, Caroline, Mother. All class B dependants.
(From the Mansion House Titanic Relief Fund Booklet, March 1913)
No. 125. Miss Marion Hodgkinson. Minutes state: Widow deceased 25th January 1914. Full allowance paid to 31st March 1914. Liverpool C & G P Committee 9 7 1914. 10/- per week for 12 months as from 1st October 1914 then reconsider.
(From the Minutes of Titanic Relief Fund, Liverpool Area Committee, December 1st 1915).
Hodgkinson, Leonard. Engineer. Stoke man educated at St. Thomas's School, Stoke. With White Star for several years.
WAS forty-six years of age and his birthplace Liverpool. His apprenticeship was served with Messrs. Hartley, Armour and Fanning, Stoke. He held a first class certificate and had been five years in the Beaver line and five years with Messrs. Rankin, Gilmour & Co. Ltd., his last position with the Company being as chief engineer of the Saint Jerome which he resigned to go into business for himself. He joined the White Star Line in May, 1905, as assistant engineer of the Celtic, in which vessel he afterwards served as fourth and third engineer. The Olympic was his next ship and his rank assistant engineer, being afterwards promoted to fourth engineer. He was next transferred to the Titanic as senior fourth. Mr. Hodgkinson leaves a widow and two children.
(From the William Salt Library, Stafford)
Leonard Hodgkinson is remembered on the Southampton Engineers Memorial, East Park; the Liverpool Titanic and Engineers memorial; the Glasgow Institute of Marine Engineers memorial; the Institute of Marine Engineers memorial, London and there is a brass memorial plaque in the church of St. Faithful, Crosby, Liverpool, to the memory of the Chief Engineer and his Engine Room staff.
Staffordshire Victims of The Disaster
Mr. Leonard Hodgkinson, the fourth senior engineer, was a Stoke man, and has many relatives and friends in the district. As a boy he received his education at St. Thomas's School, Stoke. He served an apprenticeship with Messrs. Hartley and Arnoux, whose works were acquired by Messrs. Kerr, Stuart, and Co. Later he became a marine engineer, and he had been with the White Star Company for several years.
(From The Staffordshire Advertiser, Saturday, April 20, 1912).
- His parents John Hodgkinson and Caroline Steele married in Stoke in 1853. John Hodgkinson died in Stoke in 1898 aged 66
- His mother lived for a time at Shelton Old Road, Stoke she is thought to have died in mid 1914.
- His daughter Marion moved to Manchester in 1916. She married William Arthur Pinnington on the 23rd December, 1920 in Urmston, Lancashire. They had 2 children Renee (born 1921, Chorlton) and William (Bill) A. (born 1924, Barton upon Irwell).
- His son Leonard Stanley also became a marine engineer with White Star and later Cunard. He served on the Transatlantic run most of his career mainly on RMS Majestic befoe the war and later on the Queen Mary and the Queen Elizabeth. He married Elsie H. Murray in Southampton in 1922. Their first son Leonard W. Hodgkinson (born 1923, Southampton) died his home town in 1926 at the age of just 3. A second son Allan S. Hodgkinson (born 1924, Southampton) would later join the Hampshire police.
- Younger daughter Caroline married Albert Portch 1919 in Bath she died in 1926. Their only son was Albert Leonard Stanley Portch (born 1920, Melksham) he served as Pilot Officer Royal Air Force during World War 2. He was killed in Action 4th April, 1943 whilst serving with 156 Pathfinder Squadron and was buried in Kiel War Cemetery.
- Leonard Hodgkinson's younger brother Lawrence lived in Seaford Street, Stoke and worked at Sherratts outfitters in Piccadilly, Hanley. In 1898 he married Elizabeth Heath and by 1901 they had a son Cecil.
- Hartley and Co works were later taken over by Messrs Kerr, Stuart & Co, locomotive engineers. In the 1920's they had another local young man as an apprentice named Reginald Mitchell, who later went on to design the Supermarine Spitfire fighter plane.
- According to contemporary reports Hodgkinsons's 14-year old niece had a premonition of the disaster.
Hogkinson Family Tree (subscription required)
Crew Particulars of Engagement
United States Senate, Washington 1912. n° 806, Crew List
1871 Census ("Scholar")
1881 Census ("Engine Fitter's Apprentice")
1901 Census ("Mechanical Engineer")
Probate Administration: 8th July 1912
Stevenson, I. (1965). Seven More Paranormal Experiences Associated with the Sinking of the Titanic. Journal of the American Society for Psychical Research, 59, 211?225.
Encyclopedia Titanica Message Board
Correspondence with Wilf Hodgkinson
Correspondence with Sherri Hodgkinson
Correspondence with Brian Ticehurst
George Behe, USA
Gary Cooper, UK
Bob Godfrey, UK
Denis Griffiths, UK
Anne Hilary Reader, UK
Wilf Hodgkinson, UK
Sherri Hodgkinson, Canada
Brian Ticehurst, UK
Articles and Stories
Staffordshire Advertiser (1912)