Mr Richard Turley

Mr Richard Turley was born in Newry 1, Co Down, Ireland on 8 April 1875.

He was the son of Felix Turley 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. 1872), 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. The family, at least in part, returned to Newry and by the time of the 1911 census his widowed mother and his unmarried brother Richard, a house painter, were listed as living at 10 Sinclair Street in that town.

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 Belfast over the summer months of 1907 to Elizabeth "Eliza" Madden (b. 22 June 1877 in Belfast) and they would have two children, with only one living past infancy, Annie Elizabeth (b. 1908).

Richard, his wife and child appear on the 1911 census of Ireland living at 12 Lettuce Hill, Smithfield, 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 last ship had been the Carrigan Head and as a fireman he received monthly wages of £6.

Richard Turley was lost in the sinking. 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 Spring of 1915 to a James Sullivan and is known to have had one daughter, Sarah, the following year. What became of Eliza is uncertain. Richard's daughter Annie is not believed to have married and died in Belfast in early 1990.



Gavin Bell, UK


  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.

References and Sources

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

Link and cite this biography

(2017) Richard Turley Encyclopedia Titanica (ref: #1685, updated 25th August 2017 07:21:02 AM)

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