David McKay Shannon

David McKay Shannon

David McKay Shannon was born in Curran, Larne1, Co Antrim, Ireland on 19 February 1879. Hailing from a Presbyterian family, he was the eldest child of six born to mariner David Shannon and Jane McKay who were both unwed at the time of his birth, later marrying on 15 October 1879 in Carrickfergus, Co Antrim. 

The 1911 census shows David and his family living at 10 Olderfleet in Larne and he and his father were described as sailors. 

Shannon’s ship prior to Titanic had been the Olympic. He joined Titanic at Belfast for the delivery trip to Southampton where he then disembarked. 

At some point, Shannon enlisted with the Royal Navy Reserve but sailed the dangerous waters of WWI with the merchant fleet. He was later awarded the Distinguished Service Medal for assisting in bringing his ship safely into port while under attack from an enemy submarine..  

It is pleasing note that two further distinctions have been gained by Larne men at sea recently. Captain Stewart Darragh, son of the late Mr. Stewart Darragh, Ballylumford. has been awarded the Distinguished Service Cross and Boatswain David McKay Shannon, has been awarded the Distinguisehed Service Medal. Shannon's parents reside at Castle Terrace, Larne Harbour. Hearty congratulations to both recipients, who, we understand, receive the decorations for acts of great bravery at sea. - Larne Times - 3 August 1918

On 6 December the same year David's brother William, a leading seaman in the RNR, was drowned in Albert Dock, Belfast.

William Shannon
Leading Seaman William Shannon

Giving his address as Castle Terrace at Larne, Shannon was married on 22 January 1914 to Mary Jane McBride (b. circa 1871), an unmarried housekeeper with two adult children. David and Mary Jane had no children of their own and made their home at 27 Portland Street in Larne for the rest of their lives.

David Shannon died on 27 June 1961 at the age of 82 and was buried in Larne Cemetery.


  1. He later gave his birthplace as Belfast and birthdate as 18 February 1879.

References and Sources

Crew Signing-On Particulars of Engagement, Public Record Office of Northern Ireland (2A/45/381, A-H)
Central Index Register of Merchant Seamen
1901, 1911 Census
Northern Whig, 26 July 1918, Ulster and the War: Further Northen Distinctions
Larne Times, 3 August 1918
Larne Times, 21 December 1918, Naval Funeral In Larne
Belfast Telegraph, 28 June 1961, death notice 
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Gavin Bell, UK

Link and cite this biography

Encyclopedia Titanica (2020) David McKay Shannon (ref: #2444, last updated: 18th August 2020, accessed 28th July 2021 06:32:58 AM)
URL : https://www.encyclopedia-titanica.org/titanic-biography/david-shannon.html

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