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Sophia Violet Barrett

Rank: Nurse
Townland: Lislea
Town/Village: Kenagh
Civil Parish: Kilcommock
Catholic Parish: Kilcommock
Alternative Address: Ballintava, Dunmore, Co. Galway (birthplace); Carrickmines House, Carrickmines, Co. Dublin
Census 1901:
Census 1911: Resident at Lislea, with the Armstrong family
Regiment/Unit: Joint War Committee Voluntary Aid Detachment (Red Cross & St John's Ambulance) - Carrickmines & Kingstown Branch (Carrickmines Nursing Division)
Regiment Number:
Date of Death: 10-10-1918
Cause: Died at sea, (drowning), torpedoing of the R.M.S. Leinster
Memorial: Kilternan Church of Ireland Cemetery, Co. Dublin; St George's Church, Kenagh; Tully Church, Foxrock

Sophia Violet Barrett was born on 21 January 1884 in Ballintava, Co. Galway, daughter of Samuel Barrett. In 1907, she inherited Lislea House, Kenagh, on the death of her brother George Henry. Her sister Elizabeth married Noble Armstrong and they lived in Lislea with Violet. At the time of her death, Violet was said to have been engaged to be married to Noble Loftus Phillips, of Glanmore, Kenagh.

During WW1 Violet served in Voluntary Aid Detachment (VAD) with the Carrickmines Nursing Division as a nurse with the St. John's Ambulance.

Initially she served in Dublin but from April 1915 to April 1916 she was stationed in the East Leeds Military Hospital.  From April 1916 she was deployed to field hospitals in France, initially being stationed at the No. 6 General Hospital in Rouen up to August 1918 after which she was deployed to the No. 2 Stationary Hospital in Abbéville. She was mentioned in Despatches in January 1918.

She returned to Ireland on leave from France in early October 1918 and stayed with her aunt and her husband in Carrickmines House, Foxrock, before embarking on R.M.S. Leinster to return to the front. The R.M.S. Leinster was the mail boat between Dun Laoghaire (then Kingstown) and Holyhead. The mail ship was sunk by torpedo on the morning of the 10 October 1918, resulting in the loss of 501 souls, out of 777 (although some counts put the actual number of people on board as higher). 

Parents Names: Daughter of Samuel Barrett and Elizabeth (née Henry),
Notes: See references in Philip Lecane, 'Torpedoed! The R.M.S. Leinster disaster' (Dublin, 2005).

Link to CWGC entry; Memorial at Tully; link to British Red Cross entry; History Ireland 2006 - The Other Women of 1916 (group image); link to Civil Record of birth; Find A Death - burial;

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