The Sinking of the R.M.S. Leinster

People on board

Thomas Reilly

REILLY, Thomas

Thomas Reilly was born in Glasgow about 1892 to Thomas Reilly and Mary Thompson. Thomas, originally from Dublin and Mary, born in Mayo, met and married in Liverpool in 1876 where their first child, Maud, was born. They had returned to Dublin by the time the second child, Joseph, was born in 1880. Three more children were born in Dublin before they moved to Glasgow where they were living in the 1891 census. Thomas was a Boot and Shoemaker and their daughter Maud was a ‘Handkerchief Finisher’. In 1901 only Thomas Jnr and his older sister Mary were at home with their parents. Maud married John Carson in 1896 and in 1901 Teresa was living with them. Both parents were dead by 1913 when the second daughter, Teresa, married James Hefferland in Glasgow.

Thomas Reilly enlisted in the Royal Flying Corps in June 1917 as an Air Mechanic 3rd Class, his previous occupation being a ‘Tube Worker’. He was in France from the end of September 1917 until early January 1918, spending some time in hospital in St Omer with Mumps. In late December he was again in hospital in Boulogne before being invalided back to England to Sobraon Barracks in Colchester on the 3rd of January. In April 1918 he was transferred to the newly formed Royal Air Force and reclassified as Air Mechanic 1st Class. In 1921 he was posthumously awarded the British War and Victory medals.

It is not known where in Ireland he had been posted or why he was returning to England when he travelled on RMS Leinster on the 10th of October 1918. He did not survive the sinking but his body was recovered and he was buried in Grangegorman Military Cemetery in Dublin. His sister Mary, then living in Dunblane, Perthshire was given as his next-of-kin. The Register of Soldier Effects shows that he had requested that money due to him should go to his sisters Mary and Teresa and his brother(-in-law) John Carson.



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