Hugh McElroy and Father Phillip Corr

Richard Corr

Jan 1, 2010
Was Father Phillip Corr (aka John Henry Corr) onboard the SS Carpathia at the time of Titanic disaster? I haven't seen his name listed on the passenger/crew list. However, the following encyclopedia-titanica webpage says he was:

I assume this is authoritative as it is part of the encyclopedia-titanica website. It mentions my Great Uncle, Father Phillip Corr. Here are the relevant details selected and pasted from the above webpage:

It is not surprising, given his upbringing, that in 1890 when Hugh was just turned 16 he joined a Roman Catholic Religious Order called “Canons Regular of the Lateran”, as a student for the priesthood. At that time the Order’s seminary was based at St Mary’s Priory, Bodmin, Cornwall, St Mary’s RC Church is still there today, it is a lovely church complete with shrine to the left of the main door, but alas the Abbey has now been sold, the 1891 Census shows Hugh there with six other students. One of the six was a 17 year old called Phillip Corr. In 1892, after only two years, Hugh decided that the priesthood was not for him and he left the Priory in 1892. He returned to his home in Liverpool where he followed his father by joining the Merchant Navy.

Hugh had sent two postcards from the Royal Southampton Yacht Club, both were to his priest friends. One sent to Phillip Corr dated 6th April 1912 read as follows:

“Many thanks for your letter and good wishes which I reciprocate, the “Titanic” is in many ways an improved Olympic and will I trust be a success, I am sorry I could not get down to Swanage this time but I was tied to Southampton and the train service too erratic to take chances, all kind of messages to you both”.

Father Phillip Corr finished his studies and eventually served as a Roman Catholic Parish Priest in Swanage, Dorset for 25 years. At the time of the “Titanic” disaster, Corr was returning home from Canada after visiting relatives there, the ship on which he was returning was the “SS Carpathia”.

This sounds very exciting and I would love to have it confirmed. However, I cannot see him listed on any of the lists for the Carpathia on your site. Either the lists are not complete, I am not looking in the right place, or this story simply cannot be true. Does anyone know who wrote wrote this particular webpage? I would be very grateful if anyone can help me discover the real truth behind this story. Thankyou very much.

Richard Corr

Bob Godfrey

Nov 22, 2002
Hallo, Richard. I'm guessing the name Carpathia is a misprint. If Philip Corr was aiming to get back from Canada to the British Isles he wouldn't have booked passage on a ship bound from New York to the Mediterranean. The Carpathia's first port of call after leaving NY would have been Gibraltar.

Mark Baber

Jul 4, 2000
For what it's worth, the Ellis Island records show Fr. Corr, described as a 36 year, 9 month old "Clerk in Holy Orders," as arriving at New York on Olympic from Southampton on 27 December 1911, bound for Toronto.

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