People on board
Edward Conlan was born on the 22nd of October 1899 in Clonmore, Bracknagh, Co Offaly (then King’s County) to Patrick Conlan and Catherine Blong. The Blong families in the area descended from two late seventeenth century Huguenot men named Blanc or Le Blanc who had settled in Portarlington, Co Laois (Queen’s County). Some of the branches of the family kept the form Blanc, while others anglicised it to Blong. Some remained Protestant while others became Catholic, such as Catherine Blong’s family, headed by Peter and Mary Anne Blong. Peter’s name had been given as Blanc on Catherine’s birth certificate in 1870.
Edward Conlan was the eldest of the three children of Patrick and Catherine. In the 1911 census it was recorded that they had four living children, but only three have been identified and only three were present for the census. In 1901 they were living in Cloncasson, Bracknagh with Catherine’s twin sister Bridget Quinn, who was then a widow. Bridget had three children under the age of six, Edward Conlan was one and a Blong brother, John, was also living in the household. In 1911 the family had moved to the Blong family home in Clonmore and the household of thirteen, of four generations of Blongs and Conlans was headed by Mary Anne Blong. They lived in three rooms in a 3rd class house, meaning the walls were of mud or wood and the roof was thatch.
Edward enlisted in the Leinster Regiment (Royal Canadians) who had their headquarters in Birr, King’s County. He was in the 3rd Battalion, a Training Unit that was stationed in Portsmouth and he was presumably travelling there on RMS Leinster on the 10th of October 1918. He did not survive the sinking but his body was recovered and he was buried in Grangegorman Military Cemetery in Dublin. The only original military record belonging to Edward Conlan, the Register of Soldier Effects, has written on it ‘Only one month’s Home Service’, suggesting that he had only recently enlisted.