The Sinking of the R.M.S. Leinster

People on board

Owen Samuel Donnelly

DONNELLY, Owen Samuel (Sam)

Owen Samuel Donnelly, known as Sam, was born in Liverpool in 1898 to Arthur Donnelly and Alice Maud McCay. They had married in Everton in 1887 and their first child, Arthur John, had died at the age of three in 1892. A daughter Bonella was born in 1891 and Sam was the only other living child. In both the 1891 and 1901 censuses Arthur gave his occupation as ‘Foundry Labourer’. The family cannot be located in the 1911 census, and Arthur may have been deceased by then. Bonella married James Laurie in 1915 and they had one child, Lilian.

Sam Donnelly enlisted with the Pals in the King’s Liverpool Regiment, later transferring to the Royal Defence Corps. He was in the 468th Protection Company, formerly the National Reserve. This company was used in Ireland to guard the Docks and to provide bodyguards for important Crown subjects, such as judges. Sam’s limited military records do not show where he was serving or what his duties were.

He was presumably returning to England on leave when he was travelling on RMS Leinster on 10 October 1918. He did not survive the sinking but his body was recovered. He received a military funeral and was interred in the Military Cemetery in Grangegorman in Dublin. A notice in the Liverpool Daily Post said that he was deeply mourned by his sorrowing mother.



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