The Sinking of the R.M.S. Leinster

People on board

John Bartley


John Bartley was born in Bailieborough, Co. Cavan in June 1855. By the 1880s he was Presbyterian Minister in Letterkenny, Co Donegal. He married Katherine McAlister from Kennoway, Fife, Scotland in 1888 in Edinburgh and the following year their daughter Katherine was born in Donegal. A son William was born in 1893 and in 1894 John is to be found, alone, on a passenger list to Montreal, Canada. It is not known why he went to Canada, or how long he stayed there. Katherine died in 1895 in Edinburgh aged 29.

In the 1901 Census John Bartley was living in Belfast with his sister Elizabeth, who was a teacher in the Model National School. John was Minister of the Reformed Presbyterian church in Botanic Avenue. His two children, Katherine and William, were with their McAlister grandparents in Edinburgh, and at school there. Later that year John married Marion Orr in Belfast and in March 1903 they moved to Tralee, Co. Kerry. Then in January 1906 his daughter Katherine died of T.B., and the following June, Marion gave birth to a son, James Orr Bartley.

Meanwhile his eldest son, William, had moved to Canada and was working in the Imperial Bank of Canada. He joined the Canadian Overseas Expeditionary Force in August 1915 and served in France with the 52nd Canadian Infantry Battalion. He was seriously injured and brought to London and the Rev John Bartley was travelling on the RMS Leinster to visit him on the 10th October 1918. John’s body was recovered and identified. William died in the Military Hospital, Tooting on the 16th October.

Father and son were buried in the New Cemetery in Tralee in the same grave where Katherine had been laid in 1906.



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