The Sinking of the R.M.S. Leinster

People on board

Ella de Burgh Dwyer


Ella de Burgh Dwyer was a tillage and dairy farmer from Ballyquirk, near Nenagh in Co. Tipperary. She was born on 20th September 1873, the only child of John Dwyer and Ellen Shaw, who was from Yorkshire. In the old-fashioned parlance, her father was a gentleman farmer, owning over 600 acres of land in Tipperary, which Ella inherited and farmed.  This was perhaps unusual for a gentry woman of the period. On both the 1901 and 1911 census, the family was comfortable enough to afford several servants and a companion for Ellen. Both parents pre-deceased Ella and she was on her way to visit relatives when she boarded the Leinster in October 1918. The Nenagh Guardian reported that Ella was a generous landlady to her many tenants, bestowing useful Christmas presents annually, and that she would be greatly missed into the locality. They also reported that Ella was wounded in the initial torpedo attack and it was generally felt she would have survived otherwise, as she was known to be a strong swimmer, who took annual holidays at Lough Der.  Her body was taken by train to Birr, Co. Offaly and from there, she was buried in Lorrha, near her home in Tipperary. Her will was proven in Offaly in 1919. Elizabeth Watson and Noel Wilson were the executors; the former had lived with the family since at least the 1911 census and recorded as a family friend. Ella was the last of her family line and she died unmarried.

Text: Claire Bradley



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