10 October 2018
The team who support this website are working with the National Maritime Museum of Ireland on plans to hold a series of events to mark the centenary of the RMS Leinster sinking. If you would like to be kept informed as plans develop, please contact us at email@example.com to be put on our email listing.
RMS Leinster's Sister Ship Remembered
In 1915, the Admiralty commandeered the RMS Connaught, one of the RMS Leinster's sister ships. On 5 May 1915, she left Holyhead for Southampton. For almost two years she was used to transport troops and equipment across the English Channel from Southampton to France. On the night of 2 March 1917, the RMS Connaught carried troops to Le Havre. The following day, 3 March 1917, the ship was returning to Southampton when, at 1.45pm, she was struck by a torpedo aft (near the back) on the starboard (right) side. Three of the crew - who were cleaning the ship after its latest contingent of passengers - were killed in the explosion. The remaining 74 crewmen took to the lifeboats. The ship was subsequently struck by a torpedo on the port (left) side and sank. Her position was 50.08 North, 00.45 West. The ship's crew were later picked up by the Hospital Ship Grantully Castle.
On 9 March 1917, U-48, the submarine which sank the RMS Connaught, torpedoed the merchant ship East Point. The submarine then dived and manoeuvred to attack another ship, unaware that the East Point was still underway. As the submarine came back to periscope depth, it was struck on its conning tower and water began to pour into the boat. The crew had to close a door to the conning tower, locking out the submarine commander and navigating officer. The submarine later surfaced with difficulty. After a burial service for Kapitänleutnant Berndt Buss and Navigating Officer Adolf Bergmann, the boat sailed back to Germany on the surface.
The centenary of the sinking of the RMS Connaught was marked by a talk in the National Maritime Museum of Ireland by Philip Lecane, author of "Torpedoed! The RMS Leinster Disaster" and by a commemorative service in the Royal St George Yacht Club, Dun Laoghaire, where casualty John Moran had been employed before the First World War. Robert Moran, grandson of John Moran, attended both events.