Mr Denis Corcoran was born in Bootle, Lancashire, England 1 in the Spring of 1879 2.
He was the son of John Corcoran (b. 1836), a dock labourer, and Theresa Dempsey (b. 1841), both Irish migrants; his father hailed from Co Tipperary whilst his mother was from Co Down and they were married in Liverpool in 1861.
Denis had seven known siblings: Mathilda (b. 1861), Margaret (b. 1865), John (b. 1867), Thomas (b. 1870), Cecilia (b. 1874), John (b. 1877) and Mary Ellen (b. 1880).
He and his family appear on the 1881 census living at 96 Lyons Street, Bootle but the family fall off the radar after this and don't reappear until the 1901 census: At this time Denis is living with his siblings and widowed mother at 43 Regents Road, Liverpool and he is described as a steamship stoker but what became of his father is not certain; it is believed his mother later died in 1904.
Corcoran appears to have went to sea at an early age and first appears on a crew manifest in 1897 when working as a trimmer aboard Campania, his address at the time still being 96 Lyons Street, Bootle. Serving for a period aboard Sherman in 1902, when serving aboard Majestic he was promoted to fireman. The following year he served for several voyages aboard Teutonic and Haverford, his address at the time being 42 Ford Street and he also made numerous voyages aboard Cedric. The years 1906 through 1907 again saw him serving aboard Carmania, giving an address of 26 Camden Street--an address that would reoccur throughout several voyages into 1908--before he began an association with Empress of Britain that lasted for at least two years, with his local addresses being given over this time including 22 Lyons Street and 22 Raleigh Street. He had begun offering up his birthplace as Tipperary as early as 1907 but alternated his derivation between there and Liverpool over several voyages.
When Corcoran signed on to the Titanic on 6 April 1912 he stated his birthplace as Tipperary and his local address as the Sailors' Home in Southampton; his previous ship had been the St Paul and as a fireman he could expect monthly wages of £6.
Surviving trimmer Thomas Dillon testified that he arrived at the aft well deck around 1.15 am in the company of James Mason, John Bannon and Denis Corcoran. With a large crowd gathered there, mainly steerage passengers but with only two women nearby, cries for more women prompted Corcoran and his colleagues to "chase" the women up the ladder to the boat deck before they relocated to the poop deck and waited.
Denis Corcoran died in the sinking and his body, if recovered, was never identified.
- He gave his birthplace as Tipperary in the crew agreements and earlier shipping records show the same man alternate between stating his birthplace as Liverpool and Tipperary. Whilst his father was a Tipperary man the official records suggest otherwise but Molony (2000) indicates that he was perhaps of Thurles, Co Tipperary but with no documentary proof.
- Some sources/media give his age as 26; his age is clearly written as 33 in the crew agreements and early census records confirm his true age. His birth was registered in West Derby in the second quarter of 1879.
References and SourcesSenan Molony (2000) The Irish aboard Titanic, Wolfhound Press, Dublin
RMS Titanic: Agreement and Account of Crew (National Archives, London, BT100/259)
RMS Titanic: Casualty List (National Archives, London, BT100/259)