The Sinking of the R.M.S. Leinster

People on board

Thomas Dooley

DOOLEY, Thomas

Thomas Dooley was born about 1896 in Tralee, Co Kerry, though a birth certificate has not been found. He was the youngest of the six children, only four of whom survived infancy, of Thomas Dooley and Catherine Sweeney. Thomas Snr. from Macroom in County Cork had enlisted in the Royal Munster Fusiliers, then named the Royal Bengal Fusiliers, in 1874 and had been stationed in Ballymullen Barracks in Tralee when he married Catherine, from the town, in 1881. Their first child was born in Tralee and then they moved to Pembroke Dock in Wales where two more children were born, in 1885 and 1887. They returned to Tralee where a daughter was born in 1889, dying the following year, and then two more sons were born, including Thomas.

The family were living in Ballymullen Barracks in the 1901 census, Thomas being a Company Quarter-Master Sergeant. There were only four children alive then. Thomas retired in 1907, discharged “with exemplary character”. In 1911 Thomas was living in Wandsworth, London with his daughter who was married to a R.M.F. soldier, and two of his sons, Richard and Edmond. At the same time his wife Catherine was in Tralee with her mother and Thomas Jnr. then aged fifteen, possibly as visitors.

When war broke out in 1914 Thomas Snr. re-enlisted with The Royal Munster Fusiliers as did Thomas Jnr. (Number 6909). Thomas Snr. died in 1916 at the family home, Altenburg Gardens, Clapham. His obituary in the Kerry Weekly Reporter noted that Thomas Jnr was in the R.M.F. It also detailed that the eldest son Richard, then a Sergeant Major in France with the R.M.F. had served with the Canadian Mounted Police, and his other son Edmond was with the Royal Flying Corps.

Thomas Dooley Jnr. transferred to the Royal Irish Regiment sometime after this and in October 1918 was with the 1st Battalion. He was presumably returning from leave when he travelled on RMS Leinster on the 10th of October. 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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