People on board
Christopher Kenny was born in Limerick on the 24th of December 1876 to Michael Kenny and Mary O’Connell. There were at least two children older than Christopher and at least two younger. Michael Kenny was a Labourer, and a ‘Storeman’ on Christopher’s birth certificate. When he died in 1901 his occupation was ‘Pork Butcher’.
When Christopher Kenny married Bridget Kavanagh in December 1908 in Limerick he gave his occupation as Soldier and his address as Hampshire, England. They had one son, Michael, born on the 30th of August 1914, with Christopher’s occupation on the birth certificate being Labourer. They lived in Back Clare Street with the Kavanagh family. However on the 10th of September 1914 he enlisted in Limerick in the Leinster Regiment and stated that he had already served for twelve years in the regiment. He gave his age as thirty-five though he was almost thirty-eight.
Christopher Kenny fought in Salonika, was in hospital in August 1916, contracted malaria in August 1917 and was seriously ill in Salonika in September 1917. In April 1918 he was transferred to the Labour Corps and was posted to the Agricultural Company in Exeter. In October he was on leave in Limerick and was returning to his post when he travelled on RMS Leinster on the 10th.
He did not survive the sinking but his body was recovered on the 10th of November at Howell Bay near Kirkcudbright in south west Scotland. The Glasgow Herald reported on the 19th that two bodies from the Leinster had been recovered, Private Kenny and Corporal Elms. A letter from the Chief Constable of Kirkcudbright to the Commanding Officer in Exeter is included in Christopher Kenny’s military records. It informed him that “no Inquests are held in Scotland” but that “a full enquiry was made by the Procurator Fiscal and the results communicated to the Crown Office Authorities at Edinburgh”. He went on to list the personal items found on the body, “a watch and chain, Crucifix, two letters and a steamboat ticket”, and said that they would be returned to the family.
Christopher Kenny was buried in St Cuthbert’s Old Churchyard in Kirkcudbright along with four other casualties from the Leinster recovered in the area. All were buried with full military honours. A headstone was raised by public subscription to mark their graves.