Prefab houses come to Derry in 1946

I stumbled across this lovely photo of Annie (McManus) Warren – it’s from 1946 when Derry got their first pre-fabricated bungalowes (her initial is wrongly listed as E).

She was the first one to be handed the keys – look at that beaming smile 🙂

Will have to follow up and find out more…

Edited: very insightful comment below from my husband Arnie, her grandson – on her right is indeed her husband William Edward Warren. And the fact that he was in the military is probably relevant to them being one of the first to be accommodated.

Source: Londonderry Sentinel, 17th Oct 1946, p.4




Leopold Rossine Warren

Leopold Rossine Warren was mychildren’s Great-Great-Grandfather. He was born on 16 Feb 1890 in Sunderland, Durham, the eldest son of Edward Albert Warren and Elizabeth Jane White.

Leopold was a seaman (cook steward) and comes from a line of seamen – same as his father and his grandfather. I don’t know much about his early years – sadly his parents divorced in 1900  as his mother fell in love and had a child with another man.

Leopold and his two younger sisters Ruth Elizabeth Mary (b. 1891) and Eva (b. 1894) were living with the family of John and Fanny Guest in Thornaby, Yorkshire in 1901 – I believe John and Fanny were friends of the family. Their mother Elizabeth Jane has moved with her own mother together with her two youngest daughters from Joseph Robinson – Beatrice Mabel Warren Robinson (b.1899) and Violet Robinson (b.1900).

Edward Albert and Elizabeth Jane also had two other boys who died infants – Edward Saint Leonard Warren (1893-1893), Albert Edward Warren (1896-1898) and Osmond Warren (1897-1898). It must have been very hard on the family!

Leopold married Josephine Gallagher on 9 Feb 1914 in St Columba, Derry.


The family seem to have lived in both Derry (183 Foster/Lecky rd) as well as Glasgow, and had several children:

  • Leopold John Warren (1913–1984)

  • William Edward Warren (1914–1969)

  • Walter Columbia Warren (1916–1917)

  • Henry Warren (1917– )

  • John Warren (1918– )

  • Eva Warren (m. Toye and emigrated to Canada)

If you have more information on any of the siblings, please let me know and I’ll update!

Leopold died tragically on 17 March 1931 only 41 years old , when the steamer Citrine he was working on as a cook crashed off Bradda Head, Isle of Man. The accident was widely covered in the press at the time as 10 out of the 11 crew drowned. The only survivors were Hugh Morrison and the 17 year old Leo Warren Jr – the oldest son on Leopold, who was the only passanger, and who said his father called him to join them shortly before they took sail to help on the trip.



Source: Northern Daily Mail, 18 Mar 1931

The story, as it happened on the night and told by the young Leo below:

A dramatic story of the sinking of the ship was given a Press Association reporter today by Leo Warren, one of the two survivors.

“My dad,” he said, “was ship’s cook, and I was simply making a trip with him, helping him whenever I could.

“Last night we ran into a howling wind, and were going slowly because of a thick haze which hung over the sea.

“Suddenly, soon after nine o’clock, there wasa midhtly crash, which shook the ship as though it were a matchbox. We had stuck the rocks at Bradda Head.

“The skipper, by wonderful skill managed to get us off the rocks again, but water was pouring in through a gaping hole in the port bows.

“Everyone rushed on deck and we thought we had about five minutes to launch the small boat.

“In the darkness we could feel the ship sinking under us, and people were shouting for help! It was devilish.

“Our hopes went West altogether a few seconds later, for the ship suddently heaved and turned turtle. Then she dived and there wre horrible noises. I think she musht have blown up.

“All of us were scrambling in the water, shouting. It was so terrible! My father was gone, and so have nine other men.

Only Morrison and I got to the rocks. One of us clun on to an oar, and the other got a lifebolt. The water was freezing, and how we reached the rocks I shall never know.

“When we got there we stayed the night, hoping to see the other men come ashore, but it was hopeless and no one came. All are gone, and now the lifeboat has come back with a body.


Brada Head, Isle of Man. Source: Wikipedia, Gregory J Kingsley

Who was Mary A Warren in the 1939 register?

This is a small mystery I’ve finally untangled last few days, and I wasn’t initially going to write about it as I haven’t even mentioned the Warren line yet… but there are so many unknowns there, it may take me a while.

In brief – Edward Albert Warren was my children’s 3 times great-grandfather. He was born on 15 December 1865 in Sunderland, son of Isiah (William) Warren and Mary Ann Akehurst, and he was a mariner. Edward Albert married Elizabeth Jane White in 1888 in Sunderland, and they got divorced in 1900 as his wife has a child with another man (she subsequently married him in 1902). I still don’t know what happened to two of their children – their daughters Ruth Elizabeth Mary and Eva, as well as what happened to his wife and her two other daughters – Beatrice Mabel and Violet after 1901.

Their son Leopld Rossine Warren (b.1890) was also a mariner and married Josephine Gallagher in 1914 in Derry. Leopold and Josephine are my children’s great-great-grandparents.

Edward Albert and Elizabeht Jane’s marriage and divorce is a very sad story, and will be a topic of another post…

I know very litte about Edward Albert’s life after 1901 – he is listed as boarderer in 1911 census at St. Mark’s Street, Sunderland, and working as a ship steward. He also appears on number of ship manufests in 1919 and 1920 as a ship stewart on the ship Stanmore.

When 1939 register was released last year I found him living at 3 Trafalgan Square, which was a retirement home for seamen, and he was listed with a mystery woman – Mary A Warren, born 1893. It took me a while to find out who Mary A was! 1939_EdwardAlbertWarren

Looking at her age, she was as old as Edward Albert’s children but I couldn’t find another daughter for him under this name. Plus they were both listed married. She couldn’t have been his daughter-in-law as he only had one son Leopold, and he was already married to Josephine (living in Derry in 1939). Which left the obvious choice of Mary A being his much younger wife.

It took a bit of searching, but it was her obituary in 1954 that provided the clue, and Mary A’s maiden name – Stewart.


I’m waiting to get the original marriage certificate, but looks like Mary A Stewart and Edward Albert Warren married in 1923 in West Derby, Lancashire – she was 30, he was 58, and they were together until his death in 1941 (she died thirteen years later in 1954).

I’m still not sure why did they not marry in Sunderland as both of them were from there. This is still a part of the puzzle left to be solved (as well as finding out what happened to Edward Albert’s two daughters and the two girls his wife had)

For reference – below is the pedigree chart including Edward Albert Warren: