The Sinking of the R.M.S. Leinster
 

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 Thomas Regan

REGAN, Thomas

Thomas Regan was born on the 25th of January 1897 in Charleville, Co Cork to Edward Regan and Elizabeth Betts. Edward and Elizabeth were married in Bruree, Co Limerick in 1895, though Elizabeth was from Queen’s County (Co Laois) and, from family reports, was in service in the de Vesci Estate in Abbeyleix. Thomas’s birth certificate gives ‘Turrits’, probably ‘Turrets’, Charleville as the family address, just across the county border from Bruree, and the following year, when Edward James was born, their address was Sanderspark, Charleville. Edward’s occupation was a ‘Groom’ and he may have been working at Sanders Park House, later known as Charleville Park.

The family had moved to Kildare by 1900 when twins, Mary and Eliza, were born though, sadly, neither lived long. On their certificates Edward’s occupation was ‘Stable Boy’. In the 1901 census they were living in Kildare town, and from 1911 the family address was Fair View, Kildare. Noel was born in 1905 and Albert in 1907. Elizabeth declared in the 1911 census that she had had eight children, four of whom were alive, which means that two other children are not accounted for. A final son, George Henry, was born in 1912.

Thomas Regan joined the 20th Hussars who were based in Ireland from 1908 to 1911. The only military record for Trooper Thomas Regan, found to date, is his Medals Record, so it is not known when he enlisted but family reports say that he was Batman to Major Frank Hurndall and served with him in Mesopotamia. In 1911 Frank Hurndall had married Madeleine Waldron of Melitta Lodge in Kildare and it is quite likely that Edward Regan had been working as a Groom for her father, Brigadier-General Francis Waldron, who was very involved in Irish horse racing. On the 10th of October 1918 Frank Hurndall was travelling to England with his five year old son, apparently accompanied by Thomas Regan. All three survived the sinking of RMS Leinster.

After the war Thomas Regan became a National Hunt jockey. When his father Edward died in 1948 his newspaper notice requested that English papers would copy, which suggests that possibly Thomas and Edward James were living there. When Albert died in 1965 his obituary described him as “one of the most colourful personalities in the district”, and said that he was survived by his two brothers, Noel and George.

 

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