People on board
KEARNEY, Thomas Joseph
Thomas Joseph Kearney was born in Crinkill Barracks, Birr, Co Offaly on the 20th of April 1900 to Thomas Kearney and Isabella Cleary. Thomas Snr. was a soldier in the Leinster Regiment which had been stationed in Tipperary town when he married in 1897. The regiment had returned to its headquarters in Birr when their first child, James Francis, was born in 1898. Thomas name was usually spelled as ‘Carney’.
Thomas retired in 1907and by 1911 he was working as a Labourer on the roads, and the family was living in Clonmel, Co Tipperary. In 1915 he re-enlisted, this time with the Royal Irish Regiment, but was let go again after a short time. In 1917 he enlisted in the Royal Engineers, in the Road Construction Company. It is not known when Thomas Jnr. enlisted but by October 1918 he was a Private with the 4th Reserve Battalion of the Royal Irish Regiment, stationed at Larkhill, in Wiltshire.
He may have been returning from leave when he travelled on RMS Leinster on the 10th of October 1918, or he may have been with two other 4th Battalion soldiers, Corporal Gallivan and Private Hickman, who had been detailed to return with a deserter from Ireland (see their stories). Thomas Kearney did not survive the sinking, nor was his body recovered. His name is remembered on the Hollybrook Memorial in Southampton.