|Place of Birth:
|Chapel Lane Claddagh
|Place of Death:
|SS Royal Edward
|Date of Death:
Presumed Drowned: 13 August 1915. Age 34.
Supplementary Notes: Son of Bridget Devaney (nee Reaney) of Chapel lane, Cladand the late Patrick Devaney.
Born: Fairhill, Claddagh, Galway.
The sinking of the SS Royal Edward was recorded in Galway and the Great War, pp. 92, 93. (by: William Henry).
Remembered: Tower Hill Memorial -London -United Kingdom.
On 28 July 1915, ROYAL EDWARD embarked 1,367 officers and men at Avonmouth. The majority were reinforcements for the British 29th Infantry, but also included were members of the Royal Army Medical Corps. All of the men were destined for Gallipoli.
ROYAL EDWARD was reported off the Lizard on the evening of the 28th, and had arrived at Alexandria on 10 August, a day after sister ship Royal George which had departed from Devonport. ROYAL EDWARD departed Alexandria for the harbour of Moudros on the island of Lemnos, a staging point for the ships in the Dardanelles.
On the morning of 13 August, ROYAL EDWARD passed the British hospital ship Soudan, which was headed in the opposite direction. Oberleutnant zur See Heino von Heimburg on the German submarine UB-14 was off the island of Kandeloussa and saw both ships. Von Heimburg, seeing the properly identified hospital ship, allowed Soudan to pass unmolested, but soon focused his attention on the unescorted ROYAL EDWARD some 6 nautical miles (11 km) off Kandeloussa.
Von Heimburg launched one of UB-14´s two torpedoes from a about a mile away and hit ROYAL EDWARD in the stern. The ship sank by the stern within six minutes. ROYAL EDWARD´s crew was able to get off an Sos before losing power. Soudan, after making a 180° turn, arrived on the scene at 10:00 and was able to rescue 440 men over the next six hours.
Two French destroyers and some trawlers that responded were able to rescue another 221. According to authors James Wise and Scott Baron, ROYAL EDWARD´s death toll was 935 and was as high as it was, they contend, because ROYAL EDWARD had just completed a boat drill and the majority of the men were belowdecks re-stowing their equipment. Some other sources report different numbers of casualties, ranging from 132 on the low end, to 1,386, or 1,865 on the upper end.
ROYAL EDWARD SS was a British Ocean Liner of 11,117 tons built in 1908 by Fairfield, Govan, Yard No 450 for the Egyptian Mail Steamship Company as the Cairo SS. She was powered by 3 steam turbines; operating at 180 p.s.i.; 4 double ended & 4 single ended boilers; 48 corrugated furnaces; grate surface 989 sq. ft.; heating surface 39,540 sq. ft. Engines by Fairfield Govan. In 1910 she was acquired by the Canadian Northern Steamships Ltd and renamed ROYAL EDWARD SS.
On the 13th August 1915 when 6 miles W from Kandeliusa, Aegean Sea she was torpedoed without warning and sunk by German submarine UB-14 whilst acting as a troopship. 132 lives lost including Master.