Encyclopedia Titanica

Andrew John Shannon

Mr Andrew John Shannon (Lionel Leonard) was born in Queenstown, Co Cork, Ireland on 28 April 1876.1

He was the son of Daniel Shannon (b. circa 1838) and his wife Mary Delay2 (b. circa 1838) who were married on 12 February 1870 and he had two known siblings: Mary (b. 1871) and Christopher Daniel (b. 1873).

Upon leaving school and working as a messenger Shannon reportedly left Ireland at age 16 to join the Royal Navy; records show that he joined in January 1893 and he was described as standing at 5' 3" and with black hair, dark brown eyes and a dark complexion.

In January 1893 he served one brief voyage as a deck boy aboard Impregnable before transferring to Lion at the end of the month. Other ships he served aboard up until 1895 included Boscawen, Vivid, Crescent and Orlando. In August 1895, whilst serving aboard Orlando, he became an ordinary seaman and by July 1897 was an able seaman aboard the same vessel. He transferred to Vivid in May 1898 and continued to serve on a host of other vessels, including: Cambridge, Vivid I, Benbow, and Hazard. His final ship was Aboukir after which he was discharged on 31 February 1903 and his record showed a clean bill of conduct.

Shannon appears on the 1901 census as an able seaman aboard HMS Benbow, then docked at Keynham Dockyard, Devonport, Devonshire.
He was married in Poole, Dorset in 1908 to Annie Mathilda Gould (b. 25 September 1885), a Poole native who was the daughter of a mariner, William Henry Gould and his wife Frances Susan, née Larcombe. 

Andrew and Annie had two children, a daughter named Eileen (b. 17 February 1910) and a son named Leonard Gould (b. 27 October 1911) and the family appear on the 1911 census living at 17 Artist Row, Portland, Dorset, the home of Annie's sister Kate Woodhouse and her family; Andrew was by then described as a quartermaster.

Shannon worked for the American Line and possibly held US citizenship, using the name Lionel Leonard for reasons unknown. By 1912 he was quartermaster of the SS Philadelphia but the coal strike caused scheduling problems and Philadelphia's westbound voyage was cancelled, with Andrew and several other shipmates (August Johnson, William Cahoone Jr. Johnson, Alfred John Carver, Thomas Storey and  William Henry Törnquist) forced to travel aboard Titanic as passengers.

Andrew and his shipmates boarded the Titanic at Southampton as third class passengers (ticket number 370160). During the sinking there is suggestion that these men assisted their White Star counterparts in the evacuation of the ship and all but one were lost.

Andrew Shannon died in the sinking and his body, if recovered, was never identified.

His widow Annie was never remarried and remained living in Poole with her two children. Her son Leonard remained a bachelor and during WWII served in the Royal Naval Reserve Volunteers. He, like his father before him was also lost at sea, he during WWII on 29 November 1940 when the ship he was serving on was torpedoed. 

Her daughter Eileen was married in 1938 to Walter John Victor Toms (1897-1984) and had a son named Patrick the following year. She died in Poole on 28 August 1942 aged 32 after taking her own life. 

Annie Shannon, having weathered the loss of her husband and both her children (and it is believed several other relatives in both World Wars) died on 28 January 1958 aged 73, also having taken her own life. Her grandson Patrick now lives in Bangor, Co Down, Northern Ireland.


  1. When joining the Royal Navy he gave his birth date as 10 August 1877.
  2. Spelling uncertain; records vary between Delay and Delea. 

Comment and discuss

  1. N. James Wright

    Does anyone know the nationality off Lionel Leonard?

  2. Chris Dohany

    I believe he was native to Kent, making him a British subject.

  3. Emma Richardson

    Hi The free (at the moment) to view passenger list at findmypast.com has him listed as an 'alien passenger' boarding at Southampton, subject or citizen of USA - although he may have become a citizen of America at some point as oppose to being born there. I can only find 2 Lionel Leonards in any UK census, one born 1888 in Plymouth and the other born 1881 in Jersey. Leonard who sailed on Titanic would have been born circa 1876. Some of the other American Line employees - Thomas Storey, Alfred Carver etc - all appear on the same passenger sheet as Lionel and also appear as US... Read full post

  4. Chris Dohany

    I also was unable to find him in UK censuses, or US censuses for that matter, assuming Leonard was indeed age 36 in 1912. Ditto on the Ellis Island manifests. Closest I could find, via FreeBMD birth indices, was a Lionel John Leonard born 1874 in Sevenoaks, Kent.

  5. Emma Richardson

    Hi Chris This Lionel died aged 4 I think also in Sevenoaks, which is why he doesn't appear on a census. Sometimes it can be a really frustrating experience trying to find someone on a census, although when you eventually find them it is fantastic. I am sure loads of us have embarrassed ourselves by yelling something out loud in a quiet library or record office when we have spied a missing ancestor on a census! Maybe we need to find his shipmates on paper and see if they were UK or US born, that might help locate Lionel in 1901.

  6. Bob Godfrey

    There were several Lionel Leonards in England, the US and Canada, but most were still in their early 20's in 1912. The best candidate is Lionel Frederick Leonard from St Helier, who would have been 31. He's also most likely to have a seafaring background, living initially in the Channel Islands and moving later to Weymouth, Dorset. Trouble is he's still a bit too young, and the only marriage record we have for him is to Leslie Hoggan - the Titanic Relief Fund paid out to a wife called Annie. .

  7. N. James Wright

    The reason I asked this question is that suspect that was not his real name. How do I find a list of everyone that was paid out on the Titanic Relief Fund? and does it state why they were paid? i.e. Who died and their relationship to the deceased. Regards.

  8. Emma Richardson

    Funny you should say that as I was beginning to wonder if Lionel was a middle name. I found a John Richard L Leonard born 1877 Bristol marrying an Annie Elizabeth Cottle in Bristol Sept Qtr 1900. As Bob says above Lionel's widow was called Annie. What sort of paperwork did someone travelling abroad have to produce in 1912? Did you need a passport then or your birth certificate to prove who you were? As at least three or four passengers were travelling under false names I am assuming you didn't? I would also love to know if there is an online list of Titanic Relief Fund recipents.

  9. Deleted member 173198

    Deleted member 173198

    Hello Emma, Doing the normal rounds as usual. The answer to your question is 'yes'. There are recipients that are found with the Southampton Committee. Alfred John Carver is British and still listed by the Mansion House Committee as a Third Class Passenger. The same goes for Storey as well. (Alfred) August Johnson is an American but married a British subject. August along with other names in this group are officially referred by the Mansion House as Crew and not Passengers as we are all to believe. Why they decided change and place them under as Crew section still remains a mystery.... Read full post

  10. Chris Dohany

    The 1901 UK census shows John R. L. Leonard, age 24, residing in Bristol with his wife Annie, age 22; Mr. Leonard's occupation is listed as "Guard on Stationary Engine." This is around ten years prior to Titanic, so a change of occupation is possible. The 1891 census shows 13-year-old John R. L., no occupation, residing with his parents in Tiverton, Somerset. His father was also named John R. L. - perhaps an indication why the junior John Leonard went by his middle name (if of course this is "our" Lionel)?

  11. Deleted member 173198

    Deleted member 173198

    Hello Chris Like you, I did the same self search about a year ago and got the same results as yourself. I even extend the search by trying to locate the place of birth for the children, but the feedback didn't look all that promising. The only way to solve this problem is to double-check all the pages with Minute Book No 2 and see if any reference is made to the Leonard family. One thing I have noticed, by 1913 Storey and Carver were still treated as Passenger's. Storey was place under the jurisdiction of the Liverpool Committee, whereas Carver was placed under Southampton. As... Read full post

  12. Bob Godfrey

    The names of the children might be a clue. Craig Stringer gives them as Gould and Eileen. Gould is a very unusual name, and I'm not even sure whether it was given to a boy or a girl. The only Gould Leonard I could locate in any kind of UK records (even with alternative spellings) was an entry in the London phone directory from the 1930s to the '70s, which might well be the same person. It's interesting, however, that there are a few Gould (or Gold) Leonards, some male, some female, scattered around the US and Canadian census records for the nineteenth century, which suggests we might be... Read full post

  13. Emma Richardson

    Thanks for that info Andrew. Bob - don't you just want to pick the phone up and ring Gould in 1970!!! I don't have a date of birth for either of these children but I just had a look on the freebmd site and found a Eileen Marjorie Leonard born September Qtr 1901 ( after the 1901 census). She was registered Bristol district - which was where JRL Leonard and Annie Cottle were married in Sept Qtr 1900. It is looking for a needle in a haystack though. I think Bob is probably right, we are looking in the wrong place. With just a little more information we might just do it.

  14. Bob Godfrey

    A nice thought, Emma - but only if the phone box is the Tardis! All will be revealed, no doubt, when the 1911 census data goes public in four years time.

  15. patrick.john toms

    patrick.john toms

    Re: further to the information very little info on lionel leonard,his name was andrew john shannon born in cobh co cork ,married my grandmother 1908 in st marys church poole 1908,formerley royal navy and then quartermaster on the ss philadelphia american line,he changed his name to leonard but was listed as drowned in the local dorset paper as shannon amongst the local dorset victims and saved of titanic,this info from patrick.j.toms president of the shannon Ulster titanic society

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Titanic Passenger Summary

Name: Mr Andrew John Shannon (Lionel Leonard)
Age: 35 years 11 months and 17 days (Male)
Nationality: Irish
Marital Status: Married to Annie Mathilda Gould
Last Residence: in Portland, Dorset, England
Occupation: Seaman
Embarked: Southampton on Wednesday 10th April 1912
Ticket No. 370160
Died in the Titanic disaster (15th April 1912)
Body Not Identified

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