The Sinking of the R.M.S. Leinster

People on board

Patrick Kelleher


Patrick Kelleher’s address in 1918 was Corporation Buildings in Cork city, but it has not been possible to identify him with any certainty. He enlisted as a Private in May 1915 in the Leinster Regiment (Royal Canadians) but the military records that are available do not give any personal information. He was awarded the Victory, British and Star medals and was discharged from the army in February 1919.

There were five other members of the Leinster Regiment on board RMS Leinster on the 10th of October 1918, all Privates except for Major Louis Daly. Patrick Kelleher was presumably returning from leave in Cork on that day. He survived the sinking and was taken to St Michael’s Hospital in Kingstown. There he gave an interview to the Irish independent where he described the event and his part in it. He was photographed in his hospital bed.

He described how many people had got into the lifeboats after the first torpedo had hit the ship, and when the second torpedo came they were struck and went down with the ship. He said people went over the side of the ship when the vessel heeled over and many were struck by pieces of wreckage. He managed to get on a life raft and also helped a woman and two girls on to it. A wave overturned the raft but they managed to cling on and he pulled an eighteen year old girl on as well. He said it was nearly three hours before they were picked up and brought to safety.


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