Encyclopedia Titanica

Richard Turley

Mr Richard Turley was born in Newry1, Co Down, Ireland on 8 April 1875.

He was the son of Felix Turley, a labourer, and Ann Monaghan (b. circa 1839) and came from a Roman Catholic family. 

His siblings are believed to have been: James (b. 1864), Bridget (b. 1867), Mary Catherine (b. 1869), Felix (b. 1873), Margaret Anne (b. 1879), and Elizabeth (b. circa 1884).

Details about Richard's early life are unclear and it seems he may have spent a portion of his adolescence living in Liverpool with his family, appearing on the 1891 census living at 12 Eden Street in Toxteth Park. He does not appear on the 1901 census but his family are by then living at 5 Rathlin Street near the Shankill Road in Belfast. 

Exactly when he went to sea is not known but he first appears on merchant ship records in December 1903 when he joined the Canadian in Liverpool, stating his previous ship as Lord Antrim, and would serve several other voyages on that ship in early 1904, giving local addresses at the time that included 28 Boundary Street and 138 Great Howard Street, both in Liverpool.

Richard was married in St Mary's Roman Catholic Church in Belfast on 6 July 1907 to Elizabeth "Eliza" Madden (b. 22 June 1877 in Belfast, daughter of Peter Madden); he was described as a sailor and his address was listed as 1 Scotch Street in that city. 

Richard and Eliza made their home at 12 Lettuce Hill, Smithfield, Belfast and had two children, with only one living past infancy, Ann Elizabeth (b. 4 October 1908). A son Peter was born 4 April 1910 but died due to convulsions after less than a year on 30 January 1911.

Richard, his wife and daughter appear on the 1911 census of Ireland living at 12 Lettuce Hill, Belfast. Also living there was Richard's widowed mother-in-law Eliza Madden (b. 1839 in Derry). Richard was described as a general labourer and his wife as a linen winder.

When he signed-on to the Titanic, on 6 April, 1912 Richard gave his local address as The Sailor's Home, Southampton. His previous ship had been the Carrigan Head and as a fireman he received monthly wages of £6.

Richard Turley was lost in the sinking and his body, if recovered, was never identified. He is commemorated on the Titanic Memorial located in the grounds of Belfast City Hall. 

His widow Eliza was later awarded £237, 12s for the loss of her husband in an action against Ismay Imrie and Co. Ltd.

Richard's widow Eliza was remarried in the same church as her first marriage, on 17 April 1915 to chimneysweep James Sullivan (b. 1879) and is known to have had one daughter, Sarah the following year on 12 September 1916. What became of Eliza is uncertain. Richard's daughter Annie is not believed to have married and died in Belfast in the early 1990s.


  1. He gave his birthplace as Belfast in Titanic's crew agreements and those of other ships. Whilst it is clear that he lived here as of 1911 and perhaps a decade before he was not born there and stated as such on the 1911 census, confirming his place of birth as Newry.

Titanic Crew Summary

Name: Mr Richard Turley
Age: 37 years and 7 days (Male)
Nationality: Irish
Marital Status: Married to Elizabeth Madden
Last Residence: at Sailors' Home Southampton, Hampshire, England
Occupation: Fireman
Last Ship: Carrigan Head
Embarked: Belfast on Friday 29th March 1912
Died in the Titanic disaster (15th April 1912)
Body Not Recovered

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References and Sources

Titanic, Belfast's Own; Cameron, Stephen, 1998 Wolfhound Press, ISBN 0-86327-685-7
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Comment and discuss

  1. jack turley sr

    jack turley sr said:


  2. Anne Caulfield

    Anne Caulfield said:

    My great-great-great uncle Richard died on the Titanic. His body was never found. God bless Richard.  Anne Caulfield,7 and a half.

  3. Caulfield

    Caulfield said:

    Richard was my great uncle. He has always been remembered by his brother Felix's family. He would have been very proud of his daughter Annie she was a real lady and a very gentle person. Annie never married so he never had any decendants but Felix's family has never forgotten him.  I am little Anne Caulfield's Granny.

  4. MD Turley

    MD Turley said:

    Wondering if he was one of the hero's that kept a boiler and steam generator running... the lights did not fail until the ship sank by many accounts

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Gavin Bell, UK