The Sinking of the R.M.S. Leinster

People on board

Denis Driscoll


Denis Driscoll (Dennis in military records) was born in Waterford city on the 21st of January 1897 to Patrick Driscoll and Mary Green. He was the eldest of their nine children, only four of whom survived infancy. Patrick Driscoll was a Labourer and the family lived in the Michael Street / Tan Yard Arch area of the city. His mother Rebecca was part of the family life until her death in 1917. There is no record of the family in the 1901 census though there are birth certificates for children in Waterford for 1900 and 1902. In 1911 three children were living with Patrick and Mary in Alexander Street, another child was born in 1912 and Patrick died in 1913, aged forty-two.

Denis Driscoll enlisted in the Royal Irish Fusiliers in early 1916, and according to a surviving record index, in Dundee. No information has been found to date to show why he was in Scotland. He wrote his ‘Soldier’s Will’ in June 1917 in which he left “the whole of my property and effects” to his mother. While serving with the 1st Battalion, which had been in France since the beginning of the war, he suffered a severe wound from a gas shell in May 1918 and was evacuated from the 36 Casualty Clearing Station at Watten, near St Omer, to a hospital ship.

Having recovered to an extent he was transferred to the 3rd (Reserve) Garrison Battalion which in October 1918 was at Castle Eden, Co Durham. He was presumably travelling to England on duty, possibly after leave or possibly on his first posting after his injury. He did not survive the sinking of RMS Leinster nor was his body recovered. His name is recorded on the Hollybrook Memorial in Southampton and on the Waterford Roll of Honour.



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