People on board
Robert O’Grady was born on the 8th of April 1879 to James O’Grady and Eliza Coughlan. He was baptised in the St Laurence O’Toole parish, Dublin and the family lived in this inner city area while at least seven children were born. James and Eliza were married in 1856 in the Pro-Cathedral in Dublin and the first child was born in 1858 so the family was stretched out over twenty years. Birth certificates have been found for only three of the children, not including Robert, and James’s occupation on these is given as Tailor or Post Clerk.
However in February 1893 one of his daughters, Mary, married giving her address as Victoria Lodge, Terenure Road, Rathgar, her status as ‘Lady’ and her father’s as ‘Gentleman’. James himself died in April of that year and his death certificate gives that address and his status as ‘Gentleman’. The cause of this change of fortune and status has not been identified. When Eliza died in Victoria Lodge in 1896 she was described as ‘Widow of a Collector’.
In the 1901 census the eldest daughter, Ellen, was living alone in number 19 Rathdown Road in Phibsborough, a spacious four-bedroom house and of ‘Independent Means’. Next door in number 20 Mary was living with her musician husband, William Briscoe, their three children, and brothers-in-law Robert and Nicholas. Robert was living on ‘Income from Legacy’, while Nicholas had ‘until recently been in the Army’. In 1911 Robert was living in number 19 with Ellen, both declaring ‘No Occupation’.
Robert O’Grady enlisted in the R.A.F. on the 14th of September 1918 giving his date of birth as the 8th of April 1884, reducing his age by five years. He gave his occupation as ‘Amateur Mechanic’. He was designated Private 2nd Class as a Class F Reservist. He gave his sister Ellen as his next-of-kin, with an address at 94 Pembroke Road, Ballsbridge. He was presumably travelling to England for training when he travelled on RMS Leinster on the 10th of October. He did not survive the sinking nor was his body recovered. His name is recorded on the Hollybrook Memorial in Southampton.