People on board
Patrick Earley was born on the 15th of March 1891 in Drumnahoe, Co. Tyrone, to Michael Earley and Annie McCallion. The family name was written as Early on all birth and marriage certificates and on census returns, becoming Earley in the 1920s. Michael’s father was a ’Horse Breaker’ according to the marriage certificate, while Annie’s was a ‘Scutcher’ and she herself was a ‘Mill Girl’. She was from Drumnahoe and that is where the first three of their children were born, Patrick being the eldest. In the censuses Michael Earley gave his place of birth as Co Donegal.
By 1901 Michael and Annie had five children, though Patrick, age ten, was missing from the census, and the family was living in Tamnabryan, a rural area near Strabane. Three more children were born before 1911 by which time they had moved into Orchard Street in Strabane town. Two more children were born, the youngest dying at ten months. In 1911 Patrick was working as a Labourer.
Patrick Earley served as a Gunner with the 1st Reserve Battery of the Royal Garrison Artillery, based in England. He was presumably returning to his base after leave at home when he travelled on the RMS Leinster on the 10th of October 1918. He did not survive the sinking, but his body was recovered and returned home. He was buried in Strabane cemetery.