The Sinking of the R.M.S. Leinster

People on board

John Joseph Patrick Gallivan

GALLIVAN, John Joseph Patrick

John Gallivan was born in the British Army camp at Aldershot on the 29th of May 1900 to John Gallivan and Margaret Bransfield. John Snr. born in Kenmare, Co Kerry had enlisted in the Royal Artillery in 1887 and was stationed in Waterford when he married Margaret, of that county, in 1899. They appear to have moved immediately to England as John, followed by a brother Michael in 1902, were born in Aldershot. A third son, William, was born in Clonmel, Co Tipperary in 1904 with the address given as the Military Barracks. John retired from the military in February 1910 with the rank of Sergeant-Major, and the family then were living at 33 Barrack Hill, Newport, Monmouthshire, Wales.

John Joseph worked as a junior clerk in the Newport rates office before enlisting in the Royal Dublin Fusiliers, Number 27146. He later transferred to the Royal Irish Regiment but his limited records do not give any dates or where he served. He was ranked Corporal in both regiments. His father died in Newport in February 1918 leaving £87 to his widow.

The Western Mail, published in Cardiff, reported on the 30th of October 1918, that Corporal John Gallivan had gone to Ireland to “bring back a deserter” and lost his life in the sinking of RMS Leinster, while “the deserter escaped”. This story was corroborated by Private Frank Graham who stated that Corporal Galvin (sic) and Private Hickman “had gone to Ireland to bring back a deserter”. All three men were from the 4th Battalion of the Royal Irish Regiment, then stationed at Larkhill, Wiltshire. (see James Hickman’s story).

John Gallivan’s body was recovered after the sinking and he was buried with full military honours in Grangegorman military cemetery in Dublin. His mother and two brothers were to be found in the 1939 register still living at 33 Barrack Hill, in Newport.


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