The Sinking of the R.M.S. Leinster

People on board

Mary J. Hoare

HOARE, Mary J. (Buckley)

On Saturday October 12th 1918 the Irish Independent reported that a number of articles from RMS Leinster had been recovered. One of these was a bag containing a photograph of a young girl with the name “M. Hoare, Galway”. In fact, the owner of this bag, Mary J. Hoare, had survived and spent three months after the sinking in Kingstown before returning to her family in Galway. She had been on her way to work in England on the RMS Leinster.

Mary J. HoareMary Joseph Hoare was born on the 25th of February 1898 in Church Lane, Galway to John Hoare, a ‘Shoemaker’, and Julia Hughes. Mary was the third of their eight children, all of whom were alive in 1911. In 1901 the family was living in Glasgow, in Back Lands, Fountainwell Road and John’s occupation was a ‘General Labourer’. In 1911 Julia and the eight children were back in Galway, living with her widowed mother and older sister in Bohermore but John was not there. However the fact that all the children were born in Galway and that the youngest was only one year old suggests that the family had not stayed long in Glasgow and that John was elsewhere in Ireland.

In August 1927 Mary J. Hoare emigrated to Boston, Mass. on SS Samaria, giving Mrs Hoare, Bohermore, Galway as her contact in Ireland, and her older brother Thomas, State St., Boston as her contact in the U.S. She subsequently married Daniel Buckley and they had 2 children, Patrick, who died in infancy, and Daniel. Mary retained her links with relatives in Ireland and there is a record from 1961 of Mary J. Buckley, US citizen, birthdate 25 February 1898, and living in Dorchester, boarding at Shannon to travel to Boston on Aer Lingus flight EI 113.

Mary J. HoareShe traveled to Ireland in August 1968 for a family wedding and stayed until December when she attended the commemorative dinner which former crew member, Tom Connolly, held for six survivors of the sinking of RMS Leinster fifty years before. At that time Mary gave her address as Randolf, Massachusetts and recounted her memories of the sinking to the Evening Press saying that she had managed to get into the water and on to a life-raft. Also on the raft was a soldier from France, and they prayed together all the time. When the raft was overturned she lost consciousness but woke up in Kingstown. There a local family looked after her for three months and re-united her with her mother.

In July 1986 she was again in Ireland and was interviewed by Joe Varley of the Maritime Institute. She gave an account of her ordeal almost 70 years previously, clinging to a raft with 5 other people. She was very nervous on her subsequent journey to the U.S. by ship from Cobh and later travelled by airplane on her visits to Ireland.

Mary J. Buckley, née Hoare, died in Randolph, Norfolk, Massachusetts, on 17th February 1996, a few days before her 98th birthday.

Photos courtesy of relatives in Dublin.



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