About Jeremiah Burke
- Name: Mr Jeremiah Burke
- Age: 19 years
- Last Residence: in Glanmire Ireland
- Occupation: Farm Labourer
- 3rd Class passenger
- First Embarked: Queenstown on Thursday 11th April 1912
- Ticket No. 365222 , £6 15s
- Destination: Charlestown United States
- Died in the sinking.
- Body Not Recovered
Mr Jeremiah Burke, 19, was the youngest of seven children. Two of his sisters had gone to America, and he decided to leave the Burke family farm in Ballinoe, Upper Glanmire, White's Cross, County Cork and follow them to seek a future in the United States. His cousin Nora Hegarty, 18, from Whitechurch, Co Cork intended to join an order of nuns in America.
They agreed to board a liner at Queenstown (Cobh). Several weeks before they were due to leave, Jeremiah's mother went to Queentstown, about 15 miles away, to buy the tickets. In Queenstown a family acquaintance was a clerk in the ticket office and advised them they might as well delay a while and have all the luxury of the Titanic.
They boarded the ship at Queenstown when it stopped there on 11 April 1912. On board the Titanic the two cousins made friends with Eugene Daly.
Jeremiah and his cousin died in the sinking, their bodies were never recovered.
Thirteen months later in the early summer of 1913, a postman (?coachman) walking his dog, found a small bottle on a shingle beach near Cork Harbour. Inside was a pencilled message:
from Titanic, Goodbye all: Burke of Glanmire, Co. Queenstown
The bottle was brought to the local police station and later passed on to the Burke family. According to Brid O'Flynn, Jeremiah's grand-niece, his mother had filled a little bottle with holy water and given him for good luck as he left the family house to be driven to Cobh in a pony trap by his father and uncle. Ms. O'Flynn said, "This is unmistakably the bottle that had left thirteen months previously and unmistakably her son's handwriting." Could he have thrown it overboard as the Titanic sailed? Brid O'Flynn said, "A bottle of holy water in those days that your mother gave you was a reverent thing. It wasn't something you threw out the side as you left Ireland. To me it senses of panic." A message from a Titanic victim making its way back to the parish of his birth? That framed icon of their family tragedy is preserved today on the wall of John Burke's house in White's Cross, Cork. It was featured on Irish television in February 1998.
Jeremiah's mother died shortly after the bottle was discovered.
- Robert L. Bracken (2000) Irish Titanic Passengers
- Contract Ticket List, White Star Line 1912 (National Archives, New York; NRAN-21-SDNYCIVCAS-55)
- "Nationwide", RTE-1 Irish TV, 2 February 1998. Interviews by Donna O'Sullivan, Cork.
- Irish Echo, 25 January 1998
- Marriages, births, deaths and injuries that have occurred on board during the voyage (PRO London, BT 100/259-260)
- Names and Descriptions of British Passengers Embarked at the Port of Queenstown, 11 April 1912 (PRO London, BT 27/776/2).
- Noel Ray (1999) List of Passengers who Boarded RMS Titanic at Queenstown, April 11, 1912. The Irish Titanic Historical Society
- Robert L. Bracken, USA
- Niamh O'Mahoney, Ireland
- Leslie Mallory, Ireland
- Noel Ray, Ireland
- Gerald A. Regan, Ireland
- Miss Hanora "Nora" Hegarty cousin
A message in a holy water bottle which was thrown overboard by a Titanic victim while the ship sank has now been donated to a heritage centre in Cork by his family.
Jeremiah Burke, 19, from Glanmire in Cork was given the bottle at the quayside in Cobh by his mother before he set off for the US.
As the Titanic sank in the early hours of 15 April, 1912, he threw the bottle and message into the sea.
The bottle was washed ashore a year later in Dunkettle, only a few miles from his family home.
The note, which read "From Titanic, goodbye all, Burke of Glanmire, Cork" has remained in the Burke family for nearly a century.
Now one of Jeremiah's nieces, Mary Woods, has donated it to the Cobh Heritage Centre.
Ms Woods, who is a councillor, said Jeremiah had been travelling to America with his cousin Nora Hegarty, 18, to meet up with his two sisters who had left for Boston a year previously.
Both Jeremiah and Nora drowned in the tragedy.
The councillor told the Irish Independent the bottle had been found with one of Jeremiah's bootlaces tied to it.
"Jeremiah's mother didn't know for days what had happened to him," she said.
"She was at a removal several days later when a person came up to her and said 'I'm sorry for your loss'.
"It was only then that she found out what had happened.
"She died of a broken heart within the year, before Jeremiah's letter turned up on the beach."
The note will now form part of the Titanic exhibition in the Cobh Heritage Centre along with the photographic and military medals of Titanic photographer Fr Frank Browne.