Boherbue Website
Daniel Buckley.

Daniel Buckley was borne on September 28th. 1890 in the village of Boherbue, Co. Cork. He was the son of a baker Daniel Buckley, senior, and Abigail Sullivan. They moved to Kingswilliamstown (now Ballydesmond) in 1906 and in 1912 Daniel and some friends decided to emigrate to America.

In those days emigration to America often ment this was the last time somebody would ever be seen again by those they were leaving behind. During his going away party, Daniel is supposed to have told someone that he would return 'when the fielde were white with daisies.

Daniel and his friends took passage from Cobh on the new White Star Liner RMS Titanic, which was on its maiden voyage to New York. They had a cabin in the steerage section near the bow. His three room-mates were Pat O'Connell, Michael Linehan and Pat O'Connor none of whom survived the journey.

At 11.40 pm on the night of April 14th., 1912, the Titanic struck an iceberg, buckling the hull plates below the waterline along the length of five watertight compartments. It took the striken ship just 2 hours and 40 minutes to sink. Daniel was asleep in his bunk at the time of impact. He was woken by the noise as the iceberg grated along the hull. He jumped out of bed to find the deck already beginning to dampen under his bare feet. When he tried to wake his friends they told him to 'go back to sleep'. Daniel dressed quickly and headed for the deck. On the way, he witnessed another third class passenger being thrown back down a stairwell, while two crew men locked the gate at the top to prevent third-class passengers getting out on deck. He later gave eyewitness evidence of this at the US inquiry. No charges were ever brought against any of the ship's officers or crew for locking in the steerage passengers while the ship was sinking.

After finally making his way up on deck, he is believed to have helped lower some of the lifeboats into the water. He eventually managed to find refuge in one of the lifeboats. Although other men were either chased out of this boat or prevented from getting in to it by ship's officers, he managed to keep his seat. A lady from first-class threw her shawl over him, thus preventing him from being seen. He always believed this woman to have been Lady Astor, the wife of the richest man in the world, although it is more likely to have been a Mrs. Appleton.

After the survivors were rescued by the Carpathia and brught to New York, Daniel was given a $100 relief grant by the American Red Cross. He was the only Irish witness to give evidence at the US Senate Inquiry into the disaster.

Between 1912 and 1917 he worked at a variety of jobs including hotel porter. He volunteered for the US Army on American entry into the First World War. He fought on the Western Front, where he was wounded in April 1918. Shortly after his return to duty he was killed by a sniper while trying to rescue a wounded comrade on the Meuse-Argonne section of the line. The war had less than a month to run.

He was buried in France, then sometime later his body was brought home to Ballydesmond for re-interment.

Taken from 'When Luck Ran Out' by Liam Farrell