The Sinking of the R.M.S. Leinster

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Sophia Violet Barrett

BARRETT, Sophia Violet

Sophia, known as Violet, was born on 21st of January 1884, the second youngest of six children. Her parents were Samuel Barrett of Ballintava, Co Galway, whose father was a J.P. and Elizabeth Henry, daughter of the Rector of Kilcommick (Keenagh) Parish. According to her obituary in the Western People, Violet was educated in Bruges. She was an excellent sportswoman, playing at Carrickmines Tennis Club.

Sophia Violet Barrett
     Silver chalice in Tullow Church

Throughout the war she worked as a V.A.D. nurse, attached to the St John Ambulance Brigade, with the rank of Nursing Sister. She began her military service in January 1915 at Monkstown Hospital, then moved to the East Leeds Military Hospital, and from April 1916 until August 1918 she was at the 2nd Stationary Hospital in Abbeville, France. She was mentioned in dispatches in January 1918. Her latest duty had been nursing wounded German prisoners. She was returning to duty in France after a break in Ireland and died in the sinking of the RMS Leinster.

Her funeral took place on the 16th October in Kilternan churchyard, Co. Dublin, with military honours. Her father had died in 1914, so her mother was accompanied at the grave by Violet’s aunt and uncle Wilson from Carrickmines, two siblings and their spouses. The St John Ambulance Brigade was present in number.
Violet is commemorated on a Memorial in Tullow church, Foxrock (her aunt’s parish), and on a silver chalice in that church, in Keenagh church, Longford (her grandfather’s parish) and on the York Minster Memorial.

Sophia Violet Barrett

In October 2018 a CWGC memorial was dedicated to Violet Barrett in Kilternan churchyard, Co. Dublin.


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