People on board
Thomas Doyle was born in Dublin about 1858, one of eight children of John Doyle and Ellen Kane. When Thomas married Rose, or Rosanna, Little in 1883 he gave his address as Cuffe Street and his occupation as ‘Inspector C.A.’ In the later birth certificates of their children this was amplified to S.P.C.A., the Society for the Protection of Animals, the Dublin branch having opened in 1840. Based at Grand Canal Quay, it was known to Dubliners as The Cat and Dog Home.
Thomas and Rosanna had seven children, one dying in infancy, during this period up to 1891, when they were living at a variety of addresses, including Synge Street. An eighth child, Edward, was baptised in Kingstown in 1892 while the family was living in Tivoli Terrace, but unfortunately a birth certificate cannot be found, so Thomas’s occupation at the time is not known. The next child recorded was in 1894 and the family then were living at Nixon Street in the docks area of north Dublin and Thomas gave his occupation as Railway Porter. This was the beginning of his career with the London and North West Railway Company, which would last until his death in 1918. Four more children followed, though the two youngest, born in 1900 and 1902, only survived one year or less.
By 1901 the family were living at 22 Emerald Terrace, Upper Grand Canal Street, on the south side of Dublin. This terrace consisted of large houses, many divided into multiple apartments, and the Doyle family of two adults and ten children lived with five boarders. The eldest boy, John, was a ‘Parcels Clerk’ and the next, Thomas, was a ’Parcels Boy’. In May 1909 John was in Liverpool working on S.S. Carmania, but giving his home address as Emerald Terrace, Dublin. On his fifth journey, having arrived in New York on the 14 August, he was noted as having ’Deserted’. He was working as a ‘Shipping Clerk’ in Schenectady, New York State, when he was drafted in to the US Army in 1917. In February 1915 another son, Edward, was killed in action at Cuinchy, northern France, while serving with the Irish Guards, and was buried there.
Thomas’s position as ‘Luggage Guard’ on RMS Leinster appears to have been with the L.N.W.R. as he was not listed as a member of the crew of the ship. He probably helped those passengers with their luggage who had booked through to London on the train, which was run by the L.N.W.R. and he would have returned to Dublin from Holyhead on the next sailing. He did not survive the sinking and his body was never recovered.