Mr Daniel Buckley

Titanic Survivor from County Cork

Daniel Buckley

Mr Daniel Buckley was born in Boherbue, Co Cork, Ireland on 29 September 1890.  He was the eldest child of Daniel Buckley (b. 1863), a baker, Abina O'Sullivan (b. 1866).  One of seven surviving children from a total of nine, Daniel's known siblings were: Catherine (b. 16 August 1892), Mary Ellen (b. 20 July 1894), Cornelius (b. 1895), Julia (b. 7 December 1898), John (b. 26 May 1900), Hanora (b. 26 August 1901) and Timothy (b. 10 November 1902).

Daniel and his family appear on the 1901 census as residents of house 47 in Boherbue village, Co Cork. His father suffered from a heart ailment and passed away the following year aged 39 on 22 November 1902. His mother, who was left with a young family, was not remarried and relocated her brood to nearby Kingwilliamstown.

The remaining family appear on the 1911 census as residents of house 18 in Kingwilliamstown although Daniel was not present. 

He boarded the Titanic at Queenstown (ticket number 330920 which cost £7, 15s, 17d) and was headed to an uncle and aunt at Tremont Avenue, New York. He led a group of passengers that consisted of Hannah Riordan, Bridget Bradley, Patrick Denis O'Connell, Patrick O'Connor, Nora O'Leary and Michael Linehan.

Buckley, who was asleep in a communal third class cabin near the bow when the collision took place, awoke to find seawater ankle deep on the floor. 

"I heard some terrible noise and I jumped out on the floor, and the first thing I knew my feet were getting wet; the water was just coming in slightly. I told the other fellows to get up, that there was something wrong and, that the water was coming in. They only laughed at me. One of them says: "Get back into bed. You are not in Ireland now."

He hurriedly dressed and his three bunkmates eventually got out of bed; with it being a small cabin, Buckley left to give them room to dress themselves whilst he waited outside. Two crewmen passed by shouting "All up on deck unless you want to get drowned!" and Buckley immediately hastened to the upper decks and never saw his friends again. 

Arriving in communal areas Buckley noticed other passengers wearing lifejackets but he had none so made his way back down to his cabin to retrieve it; he was stopped in his tracks as the water in the area was coming level with the third or fourth step of the staircase. 

At one point Buckley was gathered with some other steerage men when one attempted to ascend a small flight of stairs into a first class area of the ship; a crewman came along and pushed the man back and snapped the gate shut and locked it. The same steerage passenger angrily chased after the man and broke the lock on the gate; he could not find the offending crewman and said if he had he would have chucked him into the ocean.

Buckley began to look elsewhere for a lifejacket and soon encountered a first class passenger who had two; the man surrendered one to him and helped him to fasten it on. He made his way to the boat deck where he stated that he assisted in helping lower five lifeboats. He was standing at boat 13 when a crowd of male passengers and crew jumped into the boat; Buckley made a split-second decision to join them and leapt in himself. Two officers came along with a crowd of steerage passengers and ordered the men out, most complied, leaving only he and five other men, firemen and sailors—he broke down and began to cry at the thought of his fate but a compassionate woman in the boat threw her shawl over his head and told him to hold fast. He mistakenly believed the woman to be Mrs Astor. The disguise worked and the boat was lowered to the water. His friend Bridget Bradley was in the same boat and Buckley recalled her being very nervous and excitable, attempting to climb one of the falls when she thought the lifeboat was sinking, only to be subdued by a crewman.

As the night wore on those in the lifeboat spied the lights of Carpathia; such a welcome sight caused many to become hysterical and jump around; the crew attempted to control them and have them sit back down but many remained standing. 

Daniel was later called upon to testify at the American Inquiry into the sinking, one of the few third-class passengers to do so.

It is not certain if Daniel ever returned to Ireland and he was later joined in America by his sister Catherine. He lived at 284 East 137th Street in Bronx, New York.

Daniel Buckley

The Europe Buckley left behind erupted into war and when the USA became involved he voluntarily enlisted into the 69th New York Infantry (later the 165th Regiment) as a Private on 1 June 1917. He served in France from the end of October 1917 and was promoted to 1st Class Private on 1 September 1918. Of the various campaigns he was involved with, one of the most noteworthy was the Rouge Bouquet Campaign; on 7 March 1918 German artillery bombarded American trenches and the 165th Regiment suffered heavy losses; Daniel was one of the few survivors from that regiment. Only a few weeks later, on 21 March 1918 he was "slightly wounded".

Daniel Buckley met his end on 17 October 1918 1 during the Argonne Campaign—shot by a sniper whilst helping to evacuate the wounded at the Meause-Argonne front. Although initially buried in France, his body was later repatriated to Ireland and he was buried in Kingswilliamtown Cemetery. When his friend Nora O'Leary died many years later she was buried there, too.

His mother remained in Kingwilliamstown which became known as Ballydesmond after Ireland's partition. She died at the age of 83 on 1 March 1949.

Notes

Death date as per National Guard Service records; date frequently cited as 15 October 1917.

Pictures

Daniel Buckley in 1917
New York Herald  (1917) 
WW1 Letter from the Front - by Daniel Buckley
Daniel Buckley as US Infantryman
 

Articles and Stories

Titanica! (2017) 
Titanica! (2012) 
TITANIC SURVIVOR CONFRONTS HIS OWN IMPOSTOR.
The Advocate (1912) 
Western People (1912) 
 

Comment and discuss

  1. Laura Grogan O'Mara said:

    Thank you so much for the information about our vousin, Daniel Buckley, passenger, third class, Ballydesmond, Ireland. Laura Grogan O'Mara Horsham, Pennsylvania

  2. Aurora said:

    Hello. I love the set up of the site! It's very informative and I especially like the pictures. I believe you've been looking for a pic of Daniel Buckley, and I've found one. It's at: http://ourworld.compuserve.com/homepages/Carpathia/page4.htm I'm trying to find out all the info I can on Harold Cottam of the Carpathia. Do you know where to point me in the right direction? (On line.) Aurora L/F ('Lowe's Flotilla') Aurora st augustine, fl

  3. J.Frost said:

    This site is so informative.As it turns out,My cousin had a great great uncle who was on the Titanic,his name was D.Buckley,and the resemblance to my cousin makes thier relationship undeniable! The biographays are the best part of your site,it gives names and faces to those who died and those who survived. J.Frost Va Beach,Va

  4. Darkstar said:

    I'm researching third class survivor Daniel Buckley. And if it isn't too much trouble, does any one know in specific what happened to him after the sinking? Or for that matter who to e-mail ? Any help would be appreciated. Sincerly, Darkstar

  5. SCarter said:

    Did he ever get married or have childeren before he died?

  6. Frann Buckley Marple said:

    My maiden name was Buckley and I am wondering of the relationship to me of this man. Have you had relatives contact you regarding this person?

  7. John Delaney said:

    Have a listen to an RTE programme that includes Daniel Buckley's story and a song he wrote about his home town... dynamic rte ie/quickaxs/209-rte-radio1musiccollection-rmc-2007-07-26.smil

  8. Kendra Bell said:

    Hello I am looking for any and all information about descendants of Daniel Buckley. I know he was killed in WWI, but I don't know if he was married or had any other family besides his mother.

  9. Gaz_connolly said:

    dats my great uncle

  10. Jkgibson4 said:

    Gaz_connolly their is family rumors that he is my great grandfather. how are you linked? my trail stops at the titanic. facebook me at Jana Osborne Gibson

  11. Johanna said:

    Hi Kendra. I have lots of information. Are you in any way related?

  12. Tephkp said:

    This is my great great great uncle.  

  13. Alfred Nourney said:

    Who was the woman who covered Daniel Buckley, saving his life? I find that gesture particularly kind.

  14. Shelagh Naughton said:

    Our grandma Mary Ellen Riordan ( née Fitzgerald)s cousin

  15. James (4234) said:

    Daniel is my maternal first cousin twice removed. His grandparents were my great great grandparents. Does anyone know if the original telegram from his aunt (Bridget/delia) to his mother survived and if his letters survived and where they might be today.

  16. johannapsa said:

    He is my great uncle. He was my grandmother's first cousin.

  17. Patricia Sheehan Tricano said:

    Daniel Buckley was my great uncle. My father David Sheehan was the son of Daniel's sister Mary Ellen. It's always been a fascination for my family reading about Daniel Buckley. It's amazing to see all the possible relations we may have. My grandma talked about her brother Danny on occasion and we did see the few newspaper clippings, etc. But she passed away in the late 1980s and her 3 children are also deceased. It was always my understanding that Daniel died a bachelor and had no children.

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Credits

Gavin Bell, UK

Link and cite this biography

Encyclopedia Titanica (2018) Daniel Buckley (ref: #698, last updated: 5th June 2018, accessed 24th November 2020 12:33:23 PM)
URL : https://www.encyclopedia-titanica.org/titanic-survivor/daniel-buckley.html