People on board
McMULLAN, Robert James
Robert James Mc Mullan was born on the 18th of June 1877 in Ballygunaghan, in the parish of Donaghacloney, Co Down. His father was also Robert James and his mother was Isabella McAreavey. Little is known of his early life, or if he had siblings. At some stage he enlisted with the Royal Irish Rifles where his service number was 730.
In July 1905 he married Isabella Cairns and they had three children in 1907, 1908 and 1910. His occupation on all the certificates was ‘Labourer’. In the 1911 census the family was living in Ballygunaghan, and the household included his widowed mother. In July 1916 he wrote his “Soldier’s Will” (witnessed at Clandeboye Camp, Co. Down) giving his unit as 18th (Res.) Bttn, Royal Irish Rifles. Sometime after the war broke out Robert Cairns had been drafted into the Labour Corps, where his service number was 223596. He was presumably returning to his position in England after leave at home when he travelled on RMS Leinster on the 10th of October 1918.
He did not survive the sinking of the ship, nor was his body recovered. His name is inscribed on the Hollybrook Memorial in Southampton and on the War Memorial in Donaghcloney. His widow Isabella died in August 1919, leaving three young orphans.