The Sinking of the R.M.S. Leinster
 

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Felix Gartland

GARTLAND, Felix

Felix Gartland was born about 1866 in Crossmaglen, Co Armagh to James and Anne Gartland. His military records state that he was born in the parish of Creggan and the family was recorded in the censuses in the townland of Lisamry, also known as Lisavery, close to Crossmaglen. No record has yet been found of his parent’s marriage or of Felix’s birth or of his siblings. James Gartland died in 1890 at the age of ninety, according to his death certificate which also gave his occupation as Farmer.

The 1901 census shows Anne Gartland, aged sixty-five, a Farmer, living with her son Felix, 36, an Agricultural Labourer, and daughter Catherine, 30, a Lace Maker. Also in the household was a grandson, Charles, aged fifteen whose birth record gives his mother as Margaret Gartland, a Domestic Servant of Lisamry, but no father. Present at the birth was Rose Gartland of Lisamry. Margaret and Rose were then probably siblings of Felix and Catherine. The 1911 census shows Felix, then a General Labourer, and Catherine alone in Lisamry, Anne Gartland having died in 1902 aged seventy. In November 1909 Felix Gartland was recorded as attending a meeting in Crossmaglen for the Nationalist candidate Dr Charles O’Neill.

Felix Gartland enlisted in the 3rd Royal Irish Rifles, Service Number 9389, in October 1914 giving his age as forty-three though three years earlier in the census he had been forty-five. He stated that he had seven years’ experience in the Border Regiment. The 3rd was a Reserve Training Unit based in Dublin.

In September 1915 he transferred to the 1st Garrison Battalion of the Royal Irish Fusiliers, Service Number 104. This battalion moved to India the following February, but it is not clear if Felix Gartland went with them. In September 1917 he was transferred to the Labour Corps and was presumably returning from to a posting in England when he travelled on the 10th of October 1918 on RMS Leinster.

He did not survive the sinking nor was his body recovered. His name is recorded on the Hollybrook Memorial in Southampton. When his sister Catherine, designated as his next-of-kin, received his medals in 1922 she had left Lisamry and was living in Crivekeeran on the other side of Crossmaglen.

 

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