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Was lead submarine stoker Denis O’Connell a relative of yours?

On June 4, 1919, HM Submarine L55 sank in the Baltic Sea. L55 had been targeting two Bolshevik warships. It is unclear whether the submarine was sunk by Bolshevik gunfire or from straying into a British-laid minefield.

The presence of the British navy in the Baltic Sea area contributed to the Baltic states of Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania achieving independence after the First World War.

Denis O’Connell was a leading stoker on the submarine. The casualty details state that Denis was the son of Mary O’Connell of Flaherty’s Hill, Pouladuff Rd, Cork and the late Denis O’Connell.

According to the census returns of 1901 and 1911, the O’Connell family lived in the townland of Curraghconway, Lehenagh, Cork. The O’Connell family in 1901 was, as follows: Denis (36) coachman, domestic servant; Mary (35), William (11), Michael (10), David (8), Denis (7), Mary (5), John (3). The O’Connell family in 1911 was, as follows: Denis (49) coachman, domestic servant; Mary (50) from Co. Waterford; Michael (20) railway porter; Denis (18) general labourer; Mary Margaret (16); John (13).

Estonians are preparing to celebrate 100 years of independence and it would be a fitting tribute to the part played by Denis O’Connell if a representative of the O’Connell family could attend.

Even though my surname is O’Connell, I am not a relative to Denis. My son was requested to try to locate a relative by the Irish Ambassador to Estonia. Any replies to: lachteen@eircom.net

John O’Connell

Knockyrourke

Donoughmore

Co Cork


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