The Sinking of the R.M.S. Leinster

People on board

Elizabeth Clarke

CLARKE, Elizabeth née O’Connor

Elizabeth O’Connor was born about 1850 in Blackwater, Co Wexford to Peter O’Connor and Elizabeth Etchingham. Her birth has not been confirmed but she appears to have been the youngest of five girls whose baptisms have been recorded. Peter O’Connor was a Sea Captain and according to his death notice in 1890 he was Commander of the Shilmalier, the first of the large vessels that sailed out of Wexford. His wife died in 1865 and he does not appear to have remarried. His daughter Mary married local man John Flynn in 1867 and remained in the area.

Elizabeth O’Connor married in Liverpool on the 6th of August 1873, but it is not known when she left Wexford. Her husband, Dr John Stephen Clarke, a native of Liverpool, had graduated M.D. from Edinburgh University in 1871. In addition to his position as senior surgeon to the north division of the Liverpool Police he also had an extensive private practice. He died in April 1894 at the age of forty-eight. A son, John Peter, had been born ten years previously and he was listed as one of the chief mourners at the funeral.

In the 1901 census Elizabeth and John Peter were living in Bootle where John was a student. He graduated L.R.C.P. from London University in 1911 and received a Diploma in Public Health from Liverpool University. His entry in the 1920 Medical Directory says that he was Captain R.A.M.C. but no military records have yet been found.

In 1918 Elizabeth was living at The Nook, London Road, Crosby with John and it appears that she had travelled to Ireland to visit her sister Mary. She was returning to England on RMS Leinster on the 18th of October and she did not survive the sinking. However her body was recovered and she was buried in the family grave in Blackwater alongside her father. Her name is commemorated on a plaque in the Catholic Church in Crosby.



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