Mr Andrew John Shannon (Lionel Leonard) was born in Queenstown, Co Cork, Ireland on 28 April 1876.
He was the son of Daniel Shannon and his wife Mary (née Cotter?) who were possibly married around 1870 and he had two known siblings: Mary (b. 1871) and Christopher Daniel (b. 1873).
He reportedly left Ireland at age 16 to join the Royal Navy and he appears on the 1901 census as an able seaman aboard HMS Benbow, then docked at Keynham Dockyard, Devonport, Devonshire.
He was married in Poole, Dorset in 1908 to Annie Mathilda Gould (b. 1885), a Poole native who was the daughter of a mariner, William Henry Gould and his wife Frances Susan, née Larcombe. Andrew and Annie had two children, a daughter named Eileen (b. 1910) and a son named Leonard Gould (b. 1911) and the family appear on the 1911 census living at 17 Artist Row, Portland, Dorset, the home of Annie's sister Kate Woodhouse and her family. Andrew was by then described as a quartermaster.
It is believed Shannon worked for the American Line and possibly held US citizenship, using the name Lionel Leonard for reasons unknown. By 1912 he was quartermaster of the SS Philadelphia but the coal strike caused scheduling problems and Philadelphia's westbound voyage was cancelled, with Andrew and several other shipmates (August Johnson, William Cahoone Jr. Johnson, Alfred John Carver, Thomas Storey and William Henry Törnquist) forced to travel aboard Titanic as passengers.
Andrew and his shipmates boarded the Titanic at Southampton as third class passengers (ticket number 370160). All the men perished and Andrew's body, if recovered, was never identified.
His widow Annie was never remarried and remained living in Poole with her two children. Her son Leonard was never married and during WWII he served in the Royal Naval Reserve Volunteers. Like his father, Leonard was also lost at sea during WWII on 29 November 1940 when the ship he was serving on was torpedoed. Her daughter Eileen was married in 1938 to Walter John Victor Toms (1897-1984) and had a son named Patrick the following year. She died in Poole on 28 August 1942 aged 32 after committing suicide. Annie Shannon, having weathered the loss of both her children (and it is believed several other relatives in both World Wars) died on 28 January 1958 aged 73, also having committed suicide. Her grandson Patrick now lives in Bangor, Co Down, Northern Ireland.
Gavin Bell, UK