The Sinking of the R.M.S. Leinster

People on board

Henry Loughlin


Henry Loughlin was born in Albert Place, Kingstown, on 16 April 1881, and baptised in St Michael’s Church. He was the eldest of six (possibly seven) children of Patrick Loughlin, a Sailor, and Mary Connor. According to later censuses Mary was born in Co Wexford, but Patrick’s birthplace is unknown, as is the place and date of their marriage. Over the following years the family moved between Albert Place, off York Road, to Seaview House on Clarence Street to Cumberland Street, all poor housing close to the harbour. The boys were born at regular intervals, Henry 1881, Patrick 1883, Myles 1885, William 1887, Michael 1889 and Laurence 1891.

On 30 June 1892 Patrick was caught in machinery, his ribs were fractured and both lungs damaged and he died in Sir Patrick Dun’s Hospital on the fourth of July. An inquest was held but the death certificate does not say where the accident took place or what work he was doing. His age at death was given as sixty, but he may not have been as old as that. In the 1901 census his widow, Mary’s, age was given as forty. In that census Henry, aged twenty, was ‘Cook on Mail Boat’, and the family were living in Connors Court, at the rere of Mulgrave Street.

In 1911 they were living in Paradise Row, later Convent Road, and Henry was ‘Chief Cook on Mailboat Steamer’. In 1912 he married Louise O’Reilly from Clarence Court and two sons were born, James in 1913 and Henry in 1915, but Henry died just ten months later. Twins, Maureen and Eileen, were born in 1917 and finally Dermot in 1921.

Henry was on board RMS Connaught, which had been commandeered as a troop carrier, when it was torpedoed in March 1917. He survived, though three of the crew were lost. On the 10th of October 1918 two of Henry’s brothers, Patrick and Michael, were on duty on RMS Leinster and both were saved. Henry’s name did not appear on any of the published lists of crew members involved in the sinking, but his family believe he was there. After the war Henry received the British Mercantile Marine Medal, as did Patrick and Michael and their younger brother Laurence.

Henry Loughlin continued working as Chef on board ships between Ireland and Britain until 1925. He received a Certificate of Efficiency as Lifeboatman in 1930. He died on the 25th of June 1933 in St Michael’s Hospital at the age of fifty-one, his occupation then being ‘Chef’. He is buried in Deansgrange cemetery.


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