Daniel Corkery of West End, Millstreet died on this day a hundred years ago in WWI (March 21st 1918), from wounds suffered during the German Kaiserschlacht (Spring Offensive).
PTE. DANIEL CORKERY, 6919, 2ND BATTALION, ROYAL MUNSTER FUSILIERS
(27th April 1897 – 21st March 1918)
(He died this day 100 years ago)
by Kevin O’Byrne
On September 4th 1915, the ship, ‘The Hesperian‘, left Liverpool bound for Canada. Some 350 passengers were on board. At 8.30 pm as darkness was falling, she passed the Fastnet Rock. Without warning, Captain Schweiger, in a German submarine, launched a torpedo which struck ‘The Hesperian’ in the forward engine room. Captain Main of ‘The Hesperian’ ordered the passengers and crew into lifeboats but he remained on the bridge with his officers. The German submarine was the same one that sunk the ‘Lusitania’ on May 7th, 1915 with a loss of almost 1200 lives.
This time 32 lives were lost. Among the survivors was my Uncle, Daniel Corkery from West End, Millstreet, Co. Cork. On Sept 3rd he had sent a card with a picture of the Hesperian to his father saying that he had just boarded the ship. On Sept 6th his father had a letter from Danny in Queenstown (Cobh) informing him that the ship had been torpedoed 400 miles from the town. The lifeboat, my uncle was in, was picked up by ‘The Empress’ which had come out from Queenstown to rescue people.
After this ordeal my uncle appears to have stayed at home for some time. On Tuesday April l8th, 1916, he joined the Royal Munster Fusiliers (RMF) and left for the Tralee depot on Easter Sunday April 23rd 1916. From then until he was sent to France on December 1st 1916, he wrote several letters home to [read more …] “PTE. Daniel Francis Corkery, 6919, 2ND BATTALION, ROYAL MUNSTER FUSILIERS”