People on board
FITZGERALD, John Desmond
John Desmond Fitzgerald was born about 1886 in County Limerick, but his parents and siblings have not been identified. Newspaper reports in 1918 say that he worked on the staff of the Cork Examiner and “was well known in Press circles throughout the South of Ireland”. In the 1911 census he was boarding in a house on College Road, Cork when he gave his occupation as ‘Journalist’.
He moved to the Liverpool area and in 1914 enlisted in the Liverpool Regiment, Service Number 5089, where he was a Corporal. He subsequently received a commission in the South Lancashire Regiment. Unfortunately records are not available to show where he served. It is not known for certain why he was on board RMS Leinster on the 10th of October 1918. The Cork Examiner report on the 15th believed that he was returning from visiting family in Limerick, or he may have been attached to one of the battalions of the S.L.R. which were based in Ireland. He did not survive the sinking nor was his body recovered.
The Liverpool Echo reported his death on the 16th, again giving the information that he had been a Journalist with the Cork Examiner, and adding that his death was deeply regretted “by his Wife and baby boy Gerald, of 282 Stanley Park Avenue, Liverpool”. There is a birth of a Gerard Fitzgerald in 1917, mother Finnegan, but a matching marriage has not been found. John Fitzgerald’s Medal Card has a note added “Mrs A. C. O’Neill applies for her late husband’s medals”. This was dated April 1921 suggesting that she had remarried, though again a marriage certificate has not been found.
John Desmond Fitzgerald’s name is recorded on the Hollybrook Memorial in Southampton.