The Sinking of the R.M.S. Leinster

People on board

Reuben Ellis Snr.

ELLIS, Reuben Snr.

Reuben Ellis was born in England about 1853. Little is known of his early life except that his father, a Labourer, was named George. In 1878 Reuben was an army private with the Hospital Corps when he married Ellen Lyons. He was stationed in the Curragh Camp in Co Kildare, which he gave as his address as did Ellen, adding that it was in the Parish of Ballysax. Their first son Reuben, was born in Kildare in 1879, the third child Mary was born in England in 1885 and the fourth, Sarah, was born at the Curragh Camp in 1886. At that stage Reuben Snr. was a Sergeant, Medical Staff Corps. It was stated in the 1911 census that four children had been born, and were alive, but the fourth has not been identified.

In the 1901 census Reuben and Ellen were living in two rooms in Block 5 of the Married Quarters of Cork Military Barracks with their teenaged daughters, Mary and Sarah. Reuben was the ‘Office Keeper, Medical Corps’ and Ellen was his Assistant. In the 1911 census the Barracks were named as Victoria Barracks and Reuben was simply a ‘Manager’. Their two daughters were gone, but living with them was a seven year old grandson, also Reuben, son of their eldest child Reuben.

Ellen died in 1913 and it has been suggested that Reuben Snr. was moving to England to live with his daughter Mary. Whatever the reason, Reuben Ellis and his fourteen-year-old grandson Reuben were travelling on RMS Leinster on the 10th of October 1918. Neither survived the sinking but their bodies were recovered. They were buried in Mount Jerome cemetery in initially unmarked graves, though a Commonwealth War Graves Commission headstone has since been erected over Reuben Snr.’s grave.



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