The Sinking of the R.M.S. Leinster

People on board

Mary Teresa Murphy

MURPHY, Mary Teresa

Mary Teresa Murphy was born in Sullivan Street, Stoneybatter, Dublin on the 28th of May 1890, one of twins. Her parents, Thomas Murphy, a Railway Guard, and Bridget Hannon from Co Kildare, had married in 1884. There were nine children born, eight of whom survived, six of them boys. By 1901 the family had moved to 1a Findlater Street, just a few streets away, a combined shop and private dwelling. Mary Teresa was not present in that census, though she was only ten years old.

In the 1911 census neither Mary, aged twenty, nor her older sister are listed with an occupation. At some time in the following years she moved to England and became a nurse. In 1918 she was named as ‘Sister’, implying a degree of seniority, and was working in a hospital in Nottingham, possibly as part of the Queen Alexandra’s Imperial Nursing Service.

This came to light in newspaper reports of the sinking of RMS Leinster in October 1918, which she survived. Mary had travelled home to Dublin for the funeral of her younger brother Maurice who had died suddenly of peritonitis. She had managed to get into a lifeboat which was crowded and she reported that she had pulled “a pantry boy” into the boat, but that an elderly man who had been clinging to the boat for an hour dropped away through exhaustion. She was eventually brought to Kingstown where her brothers collected her and brought her home.

It is not known what happened to Mary Teresa Murphy in later life.



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