The Sinking of the R.M.S. Leinster

People on board

Ellen Hogan

HOGAN, Ellen (Nellie)

Ellen Hogan, known as Nellie, was born in Ralahine, Newmarket-on-Fergus, Co Clare on 3 April 1878. Her parents, John Hogan, a farmer, and Margaret Power were married in February 1873 in her parish of Ballyea, just outside Ennis. Nellie was the third of nine children, one of whom died in infancy.

In 1897 the eldest girl, Lucy, was professed into the order of the Little Sisters of the Poor in Preston, Lancashire, taking the name Sister St Zacharie, but she died there in December 1900, aged just twenty four. In 1904 her sister Kate followed her into the same religious order, taking the name Sister Marguerite De St Zacharie. In 1901 Nellie was nursing in England, though it is not known when she left Ireland. She was listed in the UK census as a ‘2nd Assistant Nurse’, one of a handful of Irish nurses working in the South Eastern Hospital in Deptford. This was a fever hospital, originally opened in 1877 to deal with a smallpox epidemic. The hospital closed in 1904 for two years while it was being rebuilt and all the staff lost their jobs. In the 1911 census Nellie was a ‘Partner’ in a Nursing Home in Preston, Sussex, an enterprise led by Mary Quinn from County Clare. Preston is a suburb of Brighton, an area with many nursing and retirement homes.

Nellie was still working in the Brighton nursing home in 1918. In October she was at home in Newmarket for a holiday and was due to return on the 9th. However she stayed an extra day in Dublin to celebrate her cousin, Dr Joe Power, getting his medical degree. As a result she was on board RMS Leinster when it was torpedoed. Nellie did not survive the sinking and her body was not recovered, but her name is inscribed on the Clare WW1 Memorial in the Ennis Peace Park. The Clare Journal printed a Resolution of Sympathy passed by the Wells branch of Sinn Féin with Nellie’s brother Patrick.



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