People on board
John Flood was born on the 15th September 1876 at Knockatee, near Mullingar, Co. Westmeath. His parents, John Flood and Mary Fagan had nine children, eight of them alive in 1911, and John was the third born. John Snr. was an ‘Agricultural Labourer’ and prospects for the seven sons must have been bleak, as by 1901 only three of the family remained at home, and two of those were still children.
John Flood cannot be found anywhere in Ireland in the 1901 census and may have emigrated to England. He was in Dublin however in January 1904 when he married Elizabeth Hyland, from Waterford, in Berkley Road church. He gave his occupation as ‘Butler’ and his address as 93 Merrion Square, which was the home of Sir Francis Cruise M.D., an eminent Dublin doctor, where John was obviously working. It has been reported that he also worked as a Waiter in the Woodenbridge Hotel in Co Wicklow and in the Gresham Hotel in Dublin, as well as a Butler in the Viceregal Lodge, home of the Lord Lieutenant. Unfortunately no dates are available as to when he held these positions.
John and Elizabeth had four children, with the first dying in Infancy. Each of the children were born at a different address in Dublin, in Donnybrook, Ballybough, Ringsend and Leeson Park Avenue, but his occupation remained as ‘Butler’. He was named on the City of Dublin Steam Packet Co. Crew Agreement Records for 1918 as a 3rd Steward, which, given his experience, suggests he had only just joined the Company. By October of that year he was a 2nd Steward and it was in that role that he was working on RMS Leinster onthe 10th October.
John Flood survived the sinking and there is a story that, having been landed in Kingstown, he went home and changed his clothes and then reported for work at the Company’s offices in Dublin. It is not known how long he remained working on the mailboats, but at some stage he was employed at St Columba’s College in Rathfarnham as a Butler. When his eldest daughter, Angela, married in 1931 the family were living in Ranelagh and he was working as a Steward.
John’s wife Elizabeth died in 1945 when they were living in Whitechurch, Rathfarnham and his occupation, as appeared on her death certificate, was ‘House Steward’. Sometime later he appears to have returned to Knockatee and to the land, as his death certificate described him as a ‘Farmer’. He died in St Mary’s Hospital in Mullingar in December 1966 at the age of ninety-one and was buried in Deansgrange cemetery in Dublin.