The Sinking of the R.M.S. Leinster
 

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Thomas Kelly

KELLY, Thomas

Thomas Kelly
     Thomas and Mary with John Thomas (b. 1908)   Source: Eileen Kelly

Thomas Kelly was born in Ballybricken, Waterford on 14 November 1873, to John Kelly and Bridget McGrath, both born in Waterford. John was a Baker and the family lived on the Yellow Road in Ballybricken, in the centre of the city. In the 1911 census Bridget declared that they were thirty-nine years married, and that they had had eighteen children, only six of whom were living at that date.

Thomas married Cork woman Mary Ellen McNamara in Cork in May 1906, giving his occupation as ‘Soldier’, though he did not give his regiment. Mary had been born in Cork in December 1871. They both gave their address as 49 Roches Buildings, modest red brick houses built as a result of the Artisans and Labourers Dwellings Improvements Act of 1875. They moved to England shortly after marriage and their five children were all born in Aldershot. Thomas was a Private in the Army Service Corps, and in the 1911 census the family were living in Gibraltar Barracks, Stanhope Lines, part of the huge Aldershot complex. During the war most of the supplies required by the army in all its many fields was organised and delivered by the A.S.C. from Britain.

Their first son, John Thomas (Jack), was born in 1908 and Patrick in 1909. They were followed by Joseph James in 1912 and Michael Richard in 1913, though he died from meningitis at the age of two. It is understood that Thomas was in Ireland visiting his family and was returning to England on RMS Leinster on 10 October 1918. He did not survive the sinking, nor was his body recovered. He is remembered on the Hollybrook Memorial in Southampton. Mary Ellen died in Aldershot in 1939.

 

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