The Sinking of the R.M.S. Leinster

People on board

Joseph Alphonse Furlong

FURLONG, Joseph Alphonse

Joseph Alphonse Furlong was born in St Louis, Missouri in 1890 to Michael A. Furlong and Ellen (Nellie) Mary Crook. Michael had been born in the townland of Lough, Duncormick, Co Wexford and had emigrated to the U.S. in 1880. He had arrived in Boston where he received his certificate of naturalization before moving to Missouri. There in 1889 he married Nellie Crook, born in Illinois of an English father and Irish mother. A second child, Robert Emmett, was born in 1896. Michael worked as a Salesman.

Joseph studied medicine at St Louis University, graduating in 1912. He practiced in the city until the winter of 1917/1918 when he accepted a commission in the United States Army Medical Corps. When he went overseas he transferred to the British army. He sailed from New York on the SS Caronia on the 25th of April but it is not known whether he remained in England or was posted to France.

He appears to have travelled on leave to Ireland in October to visit his aunts and uncle who were still living in Wexford. Returning to duty, he was on board RMS Leinster on the 10th of October but he did not survive the sinking. However his body was recovered and he was buried in the Furlong family plot in Carrig-on-Bannow Church Cemetery, Co Wexford.

His brother Robert was in the U.S. Signals Corps and was stationed in Washington. The following year his father Michael applied for their first passports for himself and his wife in order to travel to Wexford and visit relatives, and to “see my son’s grave who was lost on Steamer Leinster”. They arrived in Liverpool via Montreal on the 26th of November 1919. Robert Emmett and his wife Cecelia travelled to Wexford in 1924, and Michael, aged seventy-four and a widower, travelled again in 1934.



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