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.