Encyclopedia Titanica

Eugene Patrick Daly

Titanic survivor from County Westmeath

Eugene Patrick Daly
Eugene Patrick Daly

Mr Eugene Patrick Daly was born in Lisclogher, Co Westmeath, Ireland on 23 January 1883.

He was the son of Patrick1 Daly (b. circa 1845), a constable with the Royal Irish Constabulary and originally from Westmeath, and Catherine Farrelly (b. circa 1850) from Meath who had married in Kells, Co Meath on 15 May 1878. 

He had seven known siblings: twins Joseph and Mary (b. 2 April 1880), Susannah Mary (b. 1 June 1881), Michael (b. 28 October 1885), Thomas (b. 6 October 1887), Margaret (b. 24 December 1889) and James (b. 21 May 1891). The twins did not survive long after birth; Joseph died 3 April 1880 and his sister Mary the following day. 

Eugene and his family had moved to Ballykeeran, Co Westmeath around the mid-1880s; his father died there from heart failure on 13 May 1893 aged 48. The remaining family relocated to their nearest large town Athlone shortly after and are recorded there on the 1901 census living at 11 Glasses Lane; Eugene, the man of the house, was described as a wool factory hand. By the time of the 1911 census he, his mother and siblings Margaret and James were listed as living at 2 Wolfe Tone Terrace, Athlone and he was described as an unmarried wool heaver. He was also a mechanic on the side and involved in several Gaelic organisations as well as the Clan Uiseach War Pipers' Band.

Deciding to strike out for a new life in America and after years of saving, Daly purchased a third class ticket (number 382651 which cost £7, 15s) for Titanic; travelling with him was a Margaret Daly, reportedly a relative, and a friend Bridget Mulvihill. After boarding, he played his traditional Irish uilleann pipes as the ship steamed away from Queenstown.

Eugene Daly At the time of the collision Daly had been asleep in his bunk but the crash stirred him awake. He got up and dressed and looked out into the corridor where he saw a steward who advised him that nothing was amiss and to go back to bed, which he did. However, the growing commotion outside his cabin of people running about and concerned voices drew him again to get up and leave his cabin. He went to the cabin of Margaret Daly and Bridget Mulvihill and escorted them to the communal steerage areas; even then stewards were assuring he and his friends that there was no danger. An attempt to get a lifebelt from an unidentified man resulted in the surrender of the lifejacket to Eugene on account that it went to Margaret Daly. By that time word had spread that the ship was indeed in peril. 

The trio managed to navigate their way to the upper decks after being "let up", possibly arriving at aft starboard boat deck late in the proceedings by which time most lifeboats had left or had been lowered flush with A-deck; Daly described bringing his friends to the second cabin deck (presumably he meant A-deck) where all three entered a boat (possibly lifeboat 13 or 15). Assured that he was safe, a voice shouted at him to get out; Eugene did not stir until he was forcibly removed from the craft which was then lowered. Whilst there was another lifeboat in vicinity ready for lowering, Daly did not attempt to board it and instead went to the forward boat deck where the last two collapsible boats were being readied for launch, with an officer attempting to deter any rush by brandishing a revolver and threatening to shoot any man that attempted to board the boats. Daly sensationally related to the Daily Sketch (4 May 1912) that two men who had attempted to rush one of the boats were shot, one apparently dead, the other man attempting to unsuccessfully climb to his feet. The deterrent worked for Daly and he made no move to board the boat. Shortly after however he claimed another shot rang out; looking over he saw the same officer lying dead on the deck; although he did not see what had happened others told him that the officer had shot himself. 

Following this Daly rushed to the lifeboat which he described as "a canvas craft" and with six or seven other men attempted to release the boat; by then water was beginning to inundate the forward boat deck but the collapsible craft had become trapped under the cables supporting the funnels. A sudden dive made by the ship released the collapsible boat which then floated away freely.

With no other boats in sight Daly jumped into the water; he soon encountered Collapsible B and managed to pull himself aboard (he believed it to be the same boat that he had just attended but was perhaps mistaken in his daze, that boat - presumably being Collapsible A). From Collapsible B he saw many people jump overboard and saw the ship go down, he fearing that the stern, which seemed to be swaying around, might keel over and land on them. He would later claim the thickness of his overcoat attributed to his survival, a garment he held on to for many years and which he named his "lucky coat."

Rescued by the Carpathia, Daly was reportedly unconscious by the time he had been brought aboard and had to be carried to a cabin. Arriving in New York he was described in Ellis Island records as a 29-year old mechanic from Lisclogher, his nearest relative being his mother Catherine, also in Lisclogher (sic), and he was headed to a Mrs Schultze at 901 Dean Street in Brooklyn.

Following recovery in St Vincent's Hospital in New York he wrote to his mother to inform her of his safety; he would later file a claim for $50 for the loss of his uilleann pipes. Similar pipes, possibly Daly's, were later salvaged from the wreck.

After a short while in America Eugene met Englishwoman Lillian Caulfield (b. circa 1884) and they were later married on 17 February 1917; the couple appeared on the 1920 census residing as lodgers at 4 Clifford Terrace in Brooklyn and he was described as a machinist, noted in his circa 1917 military draft was working for the American Manufacturing Company.

In May 1921 Daly applied for a US passport, his address at the time being 104 Oak Street, Brooklyn, and he was described as a machinist stood at 5' 9" and with brown hair, blue eyes and a fair complexion. He was intending to visit his mother in Ireland; his mother remained at Wolfe Tone Terrace for the rest of her life and she died on 13 April 1934.

Passport 1921

Eugene Daly and his wife Lillian in their passport photograph, 1921

Daly and his wife appear to have divided their lives living between Ireland and New York; their daughter Marion (later Mrs Michael Joyce) was born in Galway in 1925. Reportedly a devout churchgoer and musical well into his old age, Daly was well-known in his area and remembered as a man who spoke very loudly, perhaps on account of deafness acquired during his many years in the mills.

Eugene Daly and Family

Eugene and his wife lived in Ireland until he became a widower around 1961 and he returned to America to be with his daughter and her family. He died on 31 October 1965 and was buried at St. Raymond's Cemetery in the Bronx.

Notes

  1. His name varies among records between James and Patrick. 

Titanic Passenger Summary

Name: Mr Eugene Patrick Daly
Age: 29 years 2 months and 23 days (Male)
Nationality: Irish
Marital Status: Single
Occupation: Farm Labourer
Embarked: Queenstown on Thursday 11th April 1912
Ticket No. 382651, £7 15s
Destination: 901 Dean Street Brooklyn, New York, United States
Rescued (boat B)  
Disembarked Carpathia: New York City on Thursday 18th April 1912
Died: Saturday 30th October 1965 aged 82 years

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References and Sources

Letter to Dr. Frank Blackmarr
Limitation of Liability Hearings: Claim Form
Evening World, 22nd April, 1912, Two Survivors Call on Mayor to Ask Relief
Daily Sketch, 4th May, 1912, Man Who Was Pulled Back
New York Times. 26th June, 1915, Says Ismay Ruled in Titanic's Boats
East Galway Democrat, 11th May, 1912
The Cork Examiner, 13th April, 1912
Southern Star, Skibbereen, Co. Cork, February 7, 1998
Daily Telegraph, 4th May, 1912
Washington Post, 22nd April, 1912
Noel Ray (1999) List of Passengers who Boarded RMS Titanic at Queenstown, April 11, 1912. The Irish Titanic Historical Society
Contract Ticket List, White Star Line 1912 (National Archives, New York; NRAN-21-SDNYCIVCAS-55[279])
Dave Bryceson (1997) The Titanic Disaster: As Reported in the British National Press April-July 1912. Patrick Stephens Ltd. ISBN-1-85260-579-0
John P. Eaton & Charles A. Haas (1994) Titanic: Triumph & Tragedy, 2nd ed. Patrick Stephens Ltd. ISBN 1 85260 493 X
Don Lynch & Ken Marschall (1992) Titanic: An Illustrated History. London, Hodder & Stoughton. ISBN 0 340 56271 4  

Newspaper Articles

Evening World (22 April 1912) TWO SURVIVORS CALL ON MAYOR TO ASK RELIEF
Daily Sketch (4 May 1912) MAN WHO WAS PULLED BACK
Cork Examiner (9 May 1912) Eugene Daly : A Survivor of the Titanic Disaster
New York Times (26 June 1915) SURVIVOR SAYS ISMAY RULED IN TITANIC'S BOATS

Miscellaneous

Marion K. Joyce EUGENE DALY - By his Daughter
Eugene Daly with his wife Lil and their only child Marion (Mary) in 1929. Mary is now a widow, living in Missouri.
Eugene Daly's Account
From the Frank Blackmarr Scrapbook
Search archive online

Comment and discuss

  1. Linda Daly said:

    I am interested especially in the passangers who share my surname (no immediate relation that I can find though). I saw a program on the Titanic on TV, forgot which as there are so many now. But it mentioned a set of bagpipes were found which might have belonged to Eugene Daly. Do you think you will be able to find any information on Eugene or Marcella Daly, the 3rd class passengers? My own grandparents did immigrate to the U. S. in the early 20th century but on a different ship . Thank you for such an informative and creatively done site! Linda Daly Milwaukee, WI

  2. Linda Daly said:

    Thank you, thank you, thank you for the biography on Eugene Daly! You found more information than I did. I play Irish and Scottish music on pennywhistle and bodhran with others in a small group for fun (I'm not a professional musician .....yet) but I have written a a song about Eugene Daly's lost pipes, using them as a symbol for the lives lost in the sinking. The song made my daughter cry. Since people seem to like it, I am going to copyright it. Immediately affer I do that, I will put it here in the guest book to share with everyone.. This may take a few weeks though, as I am still... Read full post

  3. Frank Daly McCabe said:

    I Believe that Eugene P. Daly was a relative of mine. The Dalys were originally from County Westmeath. Mr. Daly was from this county and the town of Athlone. Please supply me with any information you have regarding this survivor. Thank you. Frank Daly McCabe Frank Daly McCabe Chicago, Illinois USA

  4. tom taylor said:

    Looking for other people who are related to Eugene Patrick Daly. Apparently a cousin to my grandmother Rose Boyle thanks Tom Taylor tom taylor Malone New York

  5. Tad Fitch said:

    I have noticed several errors in the listing of which lifeboats passengers and crew were saved in. First of all Eugene Daly survived in collapsible B, not lifeboat 13 (refer to any of Walter Lord's books or research, or 'the truth about Titanic' written by survivor Archibald Gracie, 'The Loss of the SS Titanic' by survivor Lawrence Beesly, or 'Titanic an Illustrated History' By historians Donald Lynch an Ken Marschall, or research done by the late Bill Tatum for confirmation), Peter Daly (no relation) survived in collapsible A, not lifeboat 9 or 3 (see the same sources), and seamen George... Read full post

  6. Tad Fitch said:

    Excellent website, but there is a mistake which has been bugging me for some time. You keep listing third class passenger Eugene Patrick Daly as an occupent of lifeboat 13 or 15. I am an amateur Titanic historian and am writing a book about the disaster right now, so I have been doing extensive research. Daly was definately rescued on collapsible B just as he stated he was. His press accounts , private notes to family members, and survivor accounts tell the same story. Other occupents of collapsible B gave eyewitness accounts that state Daly was aboard. Daly was not lying to protect his... Read full post

  7. Tom Paige said:

    Great website, but Eugene Daly was saved on Collapsible B. If anyone has any evidence to the contrary, please post it, but I guarentee you wont find any. WEhy claim he was saved in 15? Tom Paige

  8. Peter Engberg-Klarström said:

    This is a message for Tom Paige re Eugene Daly. Mr Daly claimed, like so many other men, to having jumped into the sea to save himself. He is not very clear about this at all; he was picked up by a passing boat. This is obviously not true, since only boats D, 4 and 14 ever picked up people in the way he described, and those people are known. I have failed to find any interview where he said he was on an overturned collapsible boat. It seems likely that he just entered a starboard boat, where men were accepted without further ado. Peter Engberg-Klarström Stockholm, Sweden

  9. Tad G. Fitch said:

    Hello everyone, I was wondering if anyone could help me out regarding something that I have been looking into for several months, without success. Would anyone happen to know what Eugene Daly's wife's name was? All that I have been able to uncover so far, is that Eugene married sometime after 1912 (he was single at the time of the disaster), and that he was married quite some time before his own death in 1965, since his daughter Marion was old enough to be an informant for his death certificate. I also know that his wife preceded him in death, and that he was a widower when he passed on. ... Read full post

  10. avatar

    Inger Sheil said:

    Ask Senan Molony. According to his new book, the dazzling "The Irish Aboard Titanic", Daly's wife's name was Lillian. Sen might be able to furnish you with more details, and perhaps her maiden name. Inger Sheil

  11. Helena Daly said:

    I am trying to find as much information as possible on Eugene Patrick Daly and Marcella (Maggie)Daly who were related to me. Could you let me have as much as you can or put me in the right direction. Much appreicated.

  12. avatar

    Dave Gittins said:

    Helena, apart from this site, get hold of The Irish on Board Titanic by Senan Moloney. Senan is an Irish journalist with access to a great deal of Irish material and has covered the subject in great detail.

  13. Bob Godfrey said:

    Mr Daly, your interest in Collapsible B is understandable. It saved the lives of a number of men including Officer Lightoller, Colonel Gracie and some Irish bloke whose name escapes me.

  14. Jonathan McMaster said:

    There is some confusion here. Senan Molony's article "The Tender America" states that Daly was a weaver, but ET lists him as a farmer. I tend to believe Mr Molony, as Athlon is a textile ton, not a farming area. Secondly, Mr Molony contradicts himself with regards to the instrument Daly played. He states it is a set of uilleann pipes, but then quotes a newspaper article which refers to "War-pipes", which are large, REGULAR bagpipes. Additionally, Mr Molony says that Daly "bit down on the mouthpiece", which is impossible with uilleann pipes as they have NO mouthpiece. Uilleann pipes... Read full post

  15. tom blackburn said:

    I have a photo with a man and it is signed Mr Peete. In another persons writing it says Titanic Survivor. Could not find any Mr Peete in survivors list. Thought maybe a Mr Patrick O'Keefe, but doesn't look like him. Does look like Eugene Patrick Daly. Did he have a nickname of Peete? Any ideas?? Thanks

  16. Rosita Boland said:

    I am a journalist trying to get in contact with any surviving members of Eugene Daly's family. If anyone picks this up, please contact me

  17. Catherine La Farge said:

    I live in St John's Terrace in Galway and woudl welcome any further memories of the street.

  18. alanjamesdaly said:

    My name is Alan Daly and I have just booked a cottage at Roches Point Lighthouse for August - My grand father James Daly left Kinsale in the early 1930's to start a new life in England for which he married Sarah Daly from Dublin - He was a very strong character and had joined a group as a nationalist - he sadly died at the age of 39 and my father Paul Daly was only 4 years old. I have always wanted to visit Cork to appreciate my grand fathers courage and now it may be possible he was related to Eugene Daly. The scary thing today was I only came across the lighthouse cottage by accident and... Read full post

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Credits

Gavin Bell, UK
Peter Engberg-Klarström, Sweden
Michael A. Findlay, USA
Tad Fitch, USA
James T. Harper, USA
Leslie Mallory
Noel Ray, Ireland

Link and cite this biography

Encyclopedia Titanica (2018) Eugene Patrick Daly (ref: #753, last updated: 13th June 2018, accessed 17th October 2021 21:20:05 PM)
URL : https://www.encyclopedia-titanica.org/titanic-survivor/eugene-patrick-daly.html