The Sinking of the R.M.S. Leinster

People on board

William Francis Storey

STOREY, William Francis

William Francis Storey was born in Liverpool in 1872 to James Storey and Ellen Balfe, the eldest of their four children. James Storey gave his occupation as ‘Engine Fitter’ or ‘Engineer Steamship’, and worked as an engineer on ships, mostly between Liverpool and Dublin. The family were living in Bentinck Street in 1881, moving to Tyne Street in Kirkdale by 1891, both areas close to the docks. In 1891 William, aged eighteen, was an ‘Apprentice Engine Fitter’ and by 1901 his younger brother George was also an ‘Engine Fitter’.

Their only sister, Mary Ellen, married Charles Winter, another marine engineer, who is recorded in the Shipping and Crews Lists as also working between Liverpool and Dublin. William Storey has not been identified in the 1901 census but he was clearly gaining experience, as in the 1911 census he was named as Chief Engineer on the City of Liverpool, docked that night in Swansea. His father James, then a widower, was 2nd Engineer on the same ship. They were serving together in the same roles on the same ship in a 1914 record of a voyage between Troon and Belfast.

Meanwhile William Storey had moved to live in Ireland and in July 1910 he married Bridget Gough, the daughter of a Sea Captain from Rush in North County Dublin. He gave his address as Seaview House, Seaview Avenue, Clontarf and his occupation as Engineer. He was obviously at sea for the 1911 census as Bridget was with her family in Rush but their first child, James, was born in Clontarf in July 1911. The second, Joseph, was born in Rush in 1913 when William’s occupation was given as Sailor. The family had moved to Cambridge Avenue, Pigeon House Road, Ringsend by the time Catherine was born in 1915. This house, at the edge of the mouth of the River Liffey, was where the family stayed for several decades.

It is not known why William Storey travelled on RMS Leinster on the 10th of October though family were still living in Liverpool. He did not survive the sinking and his body was not recovered and no notice of his death has been found in Irish newspapers. It was his sister, Mary Ellen Winter, then living in Hall Lane, Aintree who inserted the notice of his death in the Liverpool Echo on the 16th. His father James later lived with the Winters, dying there in 1929 at the age of eighty-two.



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