Private Patrick Duffy (T/178296) served in the Royal Army Service Corps during World War Two. He was the husband of Margaret Duffy of 5 Seaforde Street. Belfast, Co. Down.
He died at Royal Victoria Hospital, Belfast, Co. Antrim on 18th April 1941 aged 27 years old. Cause of death was gas poisoning caused by an electrical fault in the days following the Belfast Blitz. His son, Patrick Duffy Junior also died as a result of the leak.
The gas leak came to the attention of a Royal Ulster Constabulary patrol at 0145hrs on 18th April 1941. Officer R McClenaghan investigated, finding 5 people suffering effects of poisoning. A later inquest by Belfast Coroner Dr. HP Lowe returned a verdict of accidental death caused by the escape of bitumen coal gas. The cause was a short circuit in the electrical mains outside the Seaforde Street house.
At the inquest, Coroner Herbert P Lowe stated that Duffy’s death was:
Caused by accidental escape of gas from a short circuit in an electric main due to enemy action.
Patrick Duffy’s grave is in Section B, Row HF, Grave 24 of Milltown Cemetery, Belfast, Co. Antrim.
Thanks to Alan Freeburn of NI War Memorial for his help with this research.