Mr Neal McNamee was born in Rooskey, Castlefinn, Co Donegal, Ireland on 29 August 1884.
Hailing from a Roman Catholic family, he was the son of William McNamee (b. 1861), a road contractor, and Catherine Gordon (b. 1863) who were married around 1882 and who went on to have eight children in total, losing one in infancy.
Neal's known siblings were: Ellen (b. 1883), Catherine (b. 1889), Mary (b. 1891), Andrew (b. 1893), Rebecca (b. 1901) and Margaret (b. 1908).
Neal appears on the 1901 census of Ireland living with his family at house 1 in Rooskey and he was described as a scholar. His parents continued to live here and appeared at that address on the 1911 census.
Neal was working for Lipton's at 41, Silver Street, Salisbury when he met Eileen O'Leary (b. 1892), a resident of that town and a cashier with the company. They were married in Corpus Christi Roman Catholic Church in Pokesdown, Bournemouth on 12 January 1912; at the time Neal was a resident of Portman Road in Boscombe whilst working for Lipton's at 216 Christchurch Road, Bournemouth. McNamee was offered a position at Lipton Ltd. in America and Sir Thomas Lipton himself wrote a letter of introduction to his General Manager in New York.
Courtesy of the McNamee family
The newlyweds boarded the Titanic at Southampton as third class passengers (ticket number 376566, which cost £16, 2s).
It is believed that Lightoller was referring to the McNamees when he recalled events of the evacuation:
... One young couple walked steadily up and down the boat deck throughout pretty well the whole of the proceedings. Once or twice the young chap asked if he could help. He was a tall, clean-bed Britisher, on his honeymoon I should say. The girl--she was little more--never made the slightest attempt to come towards the boats, much less be taken on board, although I looked towards her several times with a look of silent invitation, but no, she was not going to be parted from her man...
Neal and his wife died in the sinking; his body, if recovered, was never identified.
A bench with a plaque and a tree were placed in their memory in Winston Churchill Gardens, Salisbury. The original bench is still there but missing the original plaque; the original tree was destroyed by vandals. On 28 July 1999 a new tree was planted and a new bench and plaque unveiled.
Articles and Stories
Western Gazette (1912)
Leeds Mercury (1912)
The Globe (1912)
The families of Neal and Eileen McNamee
Elizabeth Foyle, UK
Catherine Parker, UK
Ian Green, UK
Darlene Heal, Canada
Arthur Merchant, USA
Senan Molony, Ireland
Brian Ticehurst, UK
References and SourcesBirth Certificate (Scan)
General Register Office Certified Copy of an Entry of Marriage (Scan)
Contract Ticket List, White Star Line 1912 (National Archives, New York; NRAN-21-SDNYCIVCAS-55)
Brian Ticehurst (1989) The Eileen and Neal McNamee Story.