The Sinking of the R.M.S. Leinster

People on board

John Doherty


John Doherty was born in the sub-townland of Claggan, Letter on the west side of the Inishowen peninsula of Donegal on the 8th of July 1890. His parents were John (Jack) Doherty, a Farmer, and Susan Lanigan. John’s name was incorrectly written as Docherty on military records. There were many Doherty families living in the area. John was one of the eldest of the thirteen children of Jack and Susan, ten of whom were alive in 1911.

John Doherty appears to have enlisted in the Royal Dublin Fusiliers, possibly as early as 1907 when he was seventeen. In May 1915 he was with the 2nd Battalion in France when he suffered a gunshot wound in the left wrist and was evacuated on the Hospital Ship Asturias. This was ironic in light of later events – the Asturias was originally a Royal Mail Steam Packet Company ship which was requisitioned by the Admiralty as a hospital ship. It was torpedoed by the Germans in 1917 but the crew beached it and escaped.

In May 1916 as a Private in the Royal Dublin Fusiliers he wrote his ‘Soldiers Will’ in which he left £2 to his brother Neal and the rest to his mother. (This later amounted to almost £25). John Doherty was transferred to the Labour Corps and promoted to Corporal. He was presumably returning from leave when he travelled on RMS Leinster on the 10th of October 1918. He did not survive the sinking nor was his body recovered. His name is recorded on the Hollybrook Memorial in Southampton.



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