The Sinking of the R.M.S. Leinster

People on board

Samuel Thomas Sheils

SHEILS, Samuel Thomas

Samuel Thomas Sheils was born on the 22nd of February 1892 in the townland of Corraskea in County Monaghan, the birth being registered in Cootehill, Co Cavan. His parents, Andrew Sheils, a Farmer, and Mary Henderson, had married in 1887 in the Catholic Church in Ballybay, although Mary was a Presbyterian and the children were brought up in that faith. Samuel was the third of their six children, five of them sons. Neither Samuel nor his older brother William was at home in the 1911 census, though William’s death was recorded in the area the following year, of a fractured skull.

Samuel Thomas SheilsIn March 1915 Samuel enlisted in Cavan in the North Irish Horse, giving his address as Crosskeys, Ballybay and his occupation as Labourer. He embarked for Le Havre in November 1915. In September 1917 he was on a ship to Egypt ‘Conducting Horses’. The next month he was in Honfleur, in Northern France and then was ‘compulsorily transferred’ to the Royal Irish Fusiliers and posted to the 9th (Irish Horse) Battalion. Back in France, in January 1918 he received shrapnel wounds to his back, ‘penetrating the pleura’, and he was taken back to England, and then sent to St Stephen’s Hospital in Dublin.

After leaving hospital he had ten day’s leave in March which he would spend at home at Rockhouse, Crosskeys, Ballybay, according to his military records.

He was back with his regiment on the 10th of March though it is not known if he was sent back to France. He was presumably on leave again in October and was returning to England when he travelled on RMS Leinster on the 10th of October. Samuel did not survive the sinking but his body was recovered and taken to the King George V hospital in Dublin.

On the 11th of October his father Andrew received a message from the military authorities “Deeply regret to report loss of your son 41622 Pte. Samuel Sheils 9th Irish Fus. who was on board SS Leinster torpedoed yesterday. Body at King George V Hospital Arbor Hill Dublin. Wire instructions to O.C. Hospital re funeral.”

Samuel Thomas Sheils was laid to rest in Ballybay First Presbyterian Church graveyard.




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