These photographs tell a story of friendship. Over 100 years ago those pictured served on the Mail Boats of the City of Dublin Steam Packet Company, plying back and forth from Holyhead to Kingstown (Dun Laoghaire). The two ladies – Ellen Cooke and Ruth Jones were Stewardesses. The gentleman, Joseph Dodson Inglis, was a Steward.
Ruth Jones (top right) was from Holyhead, but born at Birkenhead. She initially trained as a Nurse in Manchester before joining the company in 1909. She left in 1912 to get married. She eventually moved to the USA with her husband and raised a family. She is pictured (bottom right) with Joseph Inglis the day before she left the service.
Ellen Cooke (top left) was born at Holyhead and joined the company in 1906 serving for many years. She is pictured with Ruth Jones (bottom left). It is believed that her full name was Sarah Ellen Cooke and she married Thomas Henry Sadler in 1920. Her husband was then employed as a Ticket Collector for the company. They later became proprietors of the ‘George Hotel’ at Holyhead. *
Joseph Dodson Inglis (top centre) was born at Dublin. He married Ida Plant at Manchester in 1915 and lived at Newry Street, Holyhead. He was a survivor of the sinking in the English Channel of HMT (RMS) Connaught in March 1917. The vessel was then employed as a Troop Transport, sailing between Southampton and Le Harve, France. Unfortunately he did not survive the sinking of RMS Leinster in October 1918. His grave is the sea.
The Christmas Card was sent by Ruth Jones to her friend Ellen Cooke.
These images have been provided by Philip Lecane of the National Maritime Museum of Ireland, Dun Laoghaire and reproduced with the kind permission of Karen Thaler, the grand-daughter of Ruth Jones.
* research in progress.