The Sinking of the R.M.S. Leinster

People on board

Hugh Sheerin


Hugh Sheerin was born in Derry / Londonderry on 22 May 1897, the third of ten children, two of whom died young. According to the 1911 census his father John was from Balloughrey, outside Derry and his mother Mary Brown was born in County Tyrone. John was a Labourer, in one census described as a ‘Quay Labourer’. The family lived in Stanley’s Walk in the Bogside area of Derry, a Catholic area that became the centre of nationalist protest later in the twentieth century. The house in Stanley’s Walk was classified as 3rd Class in the 1901 census, with three rooms for the family of six. By 1903 the family had moved to a better house in Elmwood Street, only a short distance away.

Military records are not available to confirm when Hugh enlisted in the army, but in 1918 he was in the Reserve Battalion of the Irish Guards, having enlisted in Londonderry. It is not clear if he had already seen action or was on his way there when he travelled on RMS Leinster on 10 October 1918. He did not survive the sinking and his body was not recovered. He was awarded a war medal posthumously and his name is remembered on the Hollybrook Memorial in Southampton.


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