Mr William Luke Duffy

William Luke Duffy

William Luke Duffy was born in Castlebar, Co Mayo, Ireland on 8 October 1875 into a Roman Catholic family. He was the son of John Duffy and Ellen Ward who had married in Castlebar in 1870, and he had two known siblings, Mary (b. 1880) and Patrick Joseph (b. 1879).

Duffy received his education at St. Jarlath's College, Tuam, Co Galway. Upon completion of his schooling he spent two years as a clerk in Shackleton's Flour Milling Company, Dublin before joining James Walker & Co. of Dublin. He appears on the 1901 census of Ireland whilst he and his brother Patrick were living with their maternal aunt Mary Ward at 11 Stamer Street, Wood Quay, Dublin and William was described as a commercial clerk in a bakery.

William was married sometime in 1910 or early 1911 to a woman named Ethel (b. circa 1881 in Leeds, Yorkshire) 1 and the couple settled in Southampton and had a daughter named Mary in early 1911. The family appear together on the 1911 census of England living at Dean House, Millais Road, Itchen, Hampshire and William is described as a commercial traveller in the colour printing business.

The Titanic was William's first ship. When he signed on, in Southampton, on 6 April 1912, he gave his address as 1 Garton Road, Itchen. He had joined the Titanic in Belfast on 2 April and was on board for the delivery trip to Southampton. As the engineers' writer he could expect monthly wages of £6.

William Duffy was lost in the sinking. His body, if recovered, was never identified. His wife and child, and his aunt Mary back in Dublin, benefitted from the Titanic Relief Fund as class D dependents.



Photograph of William Luke Duffy

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Gavin Bell, UK
Dave Fredericks, UK
Dennis Grffiths, UK


  1. The couple appear not to have married in England but in possibly in Dublin. A marriage record between a William Duffy and an Ethel Frazer in Dublin the latter half of 1910 may be the correct couple. An Ethel Stewart Frazer was born in Leeds, Yorkshire in 1881.

References and Sources

Institute of Marine Engineers

Link and cite this biography

(2017) William Luke Duffy Encyclopedia Titanica (ref: #1469, updated 16th August 2017 21:19:01 PM)

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