The Sinking of the R.M.S. Leinster
 

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Patrick Francis Crowley

CROWLEY, Patrick Francis

Patrick Francis Crowley was born on the 16th of December 1895 at Gads Hill Station, Ellice Township, Ontario to Michael John Crowley and Maria Healy. Michael’s family had come from Ireland, possibly Co Kerry, shortly before he was born in 1849 and Maria’s parents were also Irish, though she too was born in Ontario. Ellice Township was settled in the 1830s and 40s and many of the farmers were Irish.

Patrick was the youngest of their nine children alive in the 1901 census. In that census Maria’s eighty-one year old mother Mary was living with the family. On the adjacent farm Michael’s brother Cornelius was living with his large family. Both brothers were farmers. In the 1911 census only three of the children were still living with Michael and Maria.

On May 16th 1918 Patrick Crowley, aged twenty-two, was drafted into the Canadian Army, enlisting in London, Ontario. He was in the 1st Depot Battalion and embarked on the 26th of July on the SS Pannonia. On arrival in England on the 16th of August at Witley Camp in Surrey he was posted to the 4th Reserve Battalion.

He was on leave in October and possibly had visited relatives in Ireland before returning to England on RMS Leinster on the 10th of October along with fifteen other Canadian military. Patrick Crowley did not survive the sinking nor was his body recovered. He was reported ‘Missing Believed Drowned’ by G.O.C. Irish Command on the 16th. His name is recorded on the Halifax Memorial dedicated to Canadian military lost at sea. He is also named on the family grave in St Patrick’s Cemetery, Kinkora, Ontario.

 

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