Friday, 1 January 2016

William Leonard Steinle 1898-1916 KIA SS Minneapolis Merchant Marine

Some time after 23/3/1916 Louisa Steinle received notification that her son William Leonard Steinle who was serving as William Leonard Stanley had drowned as a result of attack by an enemy submarine. He was in the Merchant Marines and was aged 20 and had probably anglicised his name due to the war. 

William, born in Bethnal Green was one of 10 children to Louisa and John Steinle of Walthamstow, Essex. He was serving as a fireman on the SS Minneapolis. This steam ocean liner built in 1900 was owned by Atlantic Transport Company and had already crossed the Atlantic 155 times  to New York when it was requisitioned  as a British Tansport Ship in 1915.

On March 23rd, 1916, SS Minneapolis,  was  voyaging from Marseille to Alexandria. It carried 60 tons horse fodder for the troop horses. A German submarine U-35 torpedoed the Minneapolis 195 miles  E1/2N Malta. Luckily 166 crew and one passenger were rescued by Sheldrake an Acorn class  destroyer which was in the vicinity.

However 12 persons were lost one of whom was William. Despite being towed to Malta the SS Minneapolis sank two days later.

His name is on the Tower Hill Memorial. a memorial especially for those who were Merchant Marines and have no graves as they died at sea.

This footage come from You Tube
s.s. Minneapolis - American Transport Lines - Grizzly Bear Rag George Link


  1. It is amazing and wonderful to visit your site. Thanks a ton for such a nice post.

  2. Thanks for the comment. I'm doing a WWI series on those people in my family tree who served WWI. I started in Nov 2014. Robyn