The Sinking of the R.M.S. Leinster

People on board

Lucy Plunkett

PLUNKETT, Lucy née Harrington (Shearcroft)

Lucy PlunkettLucy Agnes, known as Dolly, was born in Bedfordshire on the 11th of December 1887 to Leonard Shearcroft and Lucy Barnaby. Lucy had been born in Corfu, Greece. Dolly was the third of their four children who appeared in the 1891 census, when the family were living in Abington Avenue in Northampton and Leonard’s occupation was ‘Grocer’s Assistant’. A fifth child was born in 1895 but in 1901 Lucy was living in Dublin with the four girls, having changed all their names to Harrington. No record of a marriage to a Mr Harrington has been found and he was not present in the census. Her son, Elliott John, at the age of fourteen, had enlisted in March with the Royal Irish Fusiliers. Meanwhile Leonard was living with his father and brothers.

In October 1902 Lucy Harrington emigrated to Canada with the four girls, settling in Winnipeg, Manitoba and marrying Charles Walter Baird in December of that year. A daughter, Catherine Baird, was born the following October. In July 1910 Dolly Harrington married Leo Randall Plunkett in Winnipeg. Born in Ireland, son of a Merchant Malster, Leo Plunkett had emigrated to Canada in 1902 and was then Sporting Editor of the Free Press. In the 1916 Winnipeg census he was Assistant Editor in the Gatriday Post.

Meanwhile Elliott Harrington had also come to Canada, had married and was living in Kamloops, where in April 1916 he enlisted with the Canadian Expeditionary Force. In December 1916 shipping lists show Leo and Lucy Plunkett arriving in Liverpool from Canada, giving Leo’s family’s home, Lansdowne Road in Dublin, as their address. Leo Plunkett enlisted with the Royal Dublin Fusiliers in 1918 and was sent to France in August 1918. Elliott was wounded in France in 1918 and was sent to Northampton Hospital.

 On the 10th of October 1918 Lucy was travelling from Ireland to England with her sister-in-law, Sheelah Plunkett, on RMS Leinster. Sheelah was a V.A.D. nurse with the British Red Cross and may have been working, or she may simply have been accompanying Lucy while she visited her brother Elliott. Sheelah did not survive the sinking but Lucy was rescued.

Leo and Lucy Plunkett had no children and were living in Leicestershire in the 1939 Register, when he was a ‘Malster Managing Director’. Leo died in 1961 but no record of Lucy’s death has been found.

Photograph source: An Irish PLUNKET(T) genealogy (c. 1250-2000), E Michael D Scott (Ancestry Public Member Trees)



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