John Foley was born in Youghal, Co Cork, Ireland 1 on 14 September 1865. He was the son of Nicholas Foley and Nora Broderick and he was raised in a Roman Catholic household. He had two known siblings: Kate (b. 1868) and Michael (b. 1872).
John was married in Cork in 1895 to Mary Mulcahy 2 (b. 1870 in Cork) and they had seven children: Maurice (b. 1895), Norah (b. 1896), Mary (b. 1899), Nicholas (b. 1901), Kathleen (b. 1905) Margaret (b. 1910) and John (b. 1913).
John, his wife and first three children appear on the 1901 census of Ireland living in 9 Cork Street, Kinsale, Co Cork and he is described as a merchant sailor. Their first five children were born in Cork and they moved to Southampton, Hampshire, England sometime after 1905. The family appear on the 1911 census of England living at 2 Queens Road, Shirley, Southampton and John is described as a mariner.
John signed-on to the Titanic initially in Belfast for her delivery trip on 25 March 1912 as a quartermaster. When he signed on to the Titanic again in Southampton on 6 April 1912, he gave his address as 2 Queen's Road (Southampton). His previous ship was the Olympic. His wages were £5 per month.
Foley claimed to have helped Seaman "Sam Parks" search for an axe to chop away the sounding spar protruding directly below lifeboat 4 3. Foley himself was rescued in lifeboat 4.
Foley signed-on to the Oceanic on 10 July 1912 but failed to join the ship when it sailed.
John continued to live in Southampton with his family. His wife passed away in 1922 aged 52. John himself later lived at 2 Oriental Terrace in Southampton and passed away on 18 September 1934 4. His estate, worth £180, 14s, 5d was left to his unmarried daughter Mary
- When he signed on in Southampton his birthplace was recorded as "York".
- Mary Murphy?
- Sam Parks is not listed, he may have existed but signed on under a different name, possibly it was Walter Perkis or perhaps Frank Parkes of the Harland and Wolff guarantee group.
- Separate sources give his date of death as 25 July 1922. The John Foley who died on this date was, however, two years too young to be the same man
References and Sources
United States Senate, Washington 1912. n° 806, Crew List
Daniel Allen Butler (1998) Unsinkable: The Full Story of the RMS Titanic
Crew Articles of Agreement (Belfast), Ulster Folk and Transport Museum (TRANS 2A/45 381)
Crew Particulars of Engagement, Public Record Office (BT100/259)
Registrar General of Shipping and Seamen, Agreements and Crew Lists Oceanic January August 1912
Archibald Gracie (1913) The Truth about the Titanic
Walter Lord (1976) A Night to Remember. London, Penguin. ISBN 0 14 004757 3
Gavin Bell, UK
Inger Sheil, UK
Kerri Sundberg, USA
Hermann Söldner, Germany
Bill Wormstedt, USA
Articles and Stories
Cook County Herald (1912)