People on board
Thomas Cardiff was born in Dublin on the 5th of September 1900, the youngest of the eight, or possibly nine, children of John Cardiff, a General Labourer, and Mary Harris. John and Mary were both born in Co Kildare and were married in Newbridge and the early children were born in the area. In the late 1880s the family moved to Dublin to Basin Lane, off James’s Street in the south inner city, moving a few times within the area. Thomas was born in Wylie’s Cottages and in the 1901 census they were living in Behan’s Cottages, a two-roomed dwelling for nine people.
In January 1918 Thomas Cardiff was recruited in Dublin into a Short Service position for boys between fifteen and seventeen years of age in the Forage Department of the Army Service Corps. On the 18th of September he was discharged “for the purpose of taking up employment in civil life”. However on that same date his Service Record with the Royal Air Force began. As Private 2nd Class he was presumably travelling to take up duty in England on the 10th of October.
He did not survive the sinking of RMS Leinster but his body was recovered on the Isle of Man on the 17th. He was buried in Douglas cemetery aged just eighteen. Also in the cemetery are fellow Leinster victims Private Horace Cook and Private William Hutchinson.