This picture appeared in the book Modhscoil Luimnigh 1855-1986, a history of the Model School, O’Connell Avenue. It contained the names of all but one of those in the picture.

Model School 1911

Model School class of 1911

Back row (from left): Daisy Forsythe, Queenie Wills, Maud Morrison, Olive Oakley, Lilly Rescusin, Lily Whitaker, Connie Whitaker, Ethel Ormston.

Second Row: Mrs Walker (Principal), Violet Reid, Connie Halpin, Cissie Waterstone, Cissie Morrison, Edith Galbraith, Madeline Guerin, Dollie Waterstone, Miss Lowther (Assistant Principal).

Front Row: Ethel Stewart, Nancy Lauder, Kathleen Lauder, Eileen Reid, Ethel Reid, Molly Miller, Anne Lentin, Emily Waterstone, Winifred Hehir, Sarah Goldberg.

(in the original document, Miss Lowther and Ethel Stewart were named in the opposite placement, but it seems more likely that the girl sitting with her hair down is twelve and the woman standing with her hair up is older)

Who were these teachers

The two Model School teachers in the image were named as Mrs Walker (Principal) and Miss Lowther (Assistant Principal).

The 1911 census shows Mrs Edith Walker, a native of Cork, was living on the 2 Victoria Terrace, South Circular Road, Limerick. She was born Edith Sutton, on 16 March 1879 to George Sutton and Lily Harding in Monkstown, Cork and baptised as a Roman Catholic. Edith married to Grattan Villiers Walker in St Michael’s Church (RC), Limerick on 3 October 1903. Her husband worked as a bank cashier. By 1911, they had three children, but only two (Dorothy b. 1906, Rosaline b. 1910) were living in 1911.

Interestingly, only one-year-old, Rosaline Patricia Walker, was living with them on the night of the census. Edith’s occupation was recorded as ‘School Teacher (Primary)’. Another daughter, Edith Violet, was born in 1912. She died in this daughter’s house in Cork on 1 June 1965. Her occupation on her death certificate was ‘Wife of a retired bank official’.

Many thanks to Tom Donovan who located the assistant teacher Edith Duncan Lowther in the 1911 Census with her parents in Derry. She was twenty years old and a member of the Church of Ireland.

Who were these students

(Back Row, Left to Right)

The first girl named in the list of Model School students on the left of the back row was Daisy Forsythe. In 1911, she was living on High Road, with her widowed father Alfred and four older siblings. Her father, a commercial traveller, put his place of birth as Corfu on the census that year. Daisy was also known as Emila, she was born shortly before her mother Maria (née Tracey) death in 1904. She was christened in the Church of Ireland. A birth certificate for Daisy has not been located.

Next to Daisy stood Queenie Wills. In 1911, Queenie was living at 25 William Street with her parents and two older siblings. Her father Michael Wills was born in Somerset, England but worked in Limerick as a manager of a boot warehouse. Her mother, Agnes Cassidy, was born in County Down. Queenie was born Queenie Agnes Wills in the same house on 8 September 1899. Queenie was christened in the Church of Ireland. She never married and died on 6 January 1954 in Clanmorris Avenue, Limerick. William Henry Oakley witnessed her death.

Then in the row, with a large ribbon in her hair, is Maud Morrison. In 1911, she was living on Blackboy Road with her parents and older sister (Letitia Jane ‘Cissie’). Maud was born Eva Maud Constance Morrison 11 May 1901 in Derry to Noble Morrison and Mary Anne Johnstone. Her parents were both prison wardens in Cork when they married in 1898.

Standing forth in the back row is Olive Oakley. She was living in John’s Square with both her parents, three older siblings and three younger siblings when the 1911 census was carried out. Just like Maud Morrison, Olive’s father was a prison warden. Olive was a member of the Church of Ireland. On 12 December 1923, she married Mark Salmon in St John’s Church, John’s Square. She moved to Lurgan after marriage.

The first name of the next girl, with the white ribbon in her black hair, was recorded simply as Rescusin but Tom Donovan located her as Lilly Racusen in the 1911 census. She was a member of the Jewish community and living on McNamara Place. According to Des Ryan’s article the Old Limerick Journal 2021 the Racusen family came from Latvia.

Standing next to this unknown girl is Lily Whitaker, born Sarah Letitie Whitaker. During the 1911 census she was living on Roches Street with her parents and five siblings. Her father worked as a hairdresser. Her parents married in 1893, when her father Samuel Whitaker was 20 and her mother Mary Jane Jones was 21.

Although she bears the same name as the girl standing next to her, Connie Whitaker belonged to a different family living on the North Strand (O’Callaghan Strand/Clancy Strand) on the 1911 census. Connie was born Constance Florence Whitaker on 28 November 1900 on Sandmall to William Wilson Whitaker, a jeweller and Mary Jane Dunne. Connie married Edward Stone on 30 September 1931 in Dublin.

 (Middle Row, Left to Right)

Standing next to Mrs Walker is Violet Reid. She was living in Mount Vincent Cottages on the night of the 1911 census. She was the eldest child of Robert Reid, post office clerk, and Minnie Bourne. She was born Violet Mary on 18 January 1901. She married John Thomas Linneen on 14 January 1922 in St Michael’s Church of Ireland, church. Violet’s younger sister Ethel was also in the picture in the front row.

Next to Violet was Connie Halpin. She appeared on the 1911 census in Rathbane. She was born Constance Halpin c.1900 in Leeds, England to John Albert Halpin, a refrigerating engineer and Amy Allenby. Connie was a Baptist. 

Fourth in the middle row was Cissie Waterstone, unfortunately no further information has been located for Cissie. There was one Waterstone family living in Killeely House, Limerick in 1911, but there was no child called Cissie among them. It is likely this was Kathleen Waterstone as the sister Emily is in the front row.

Cissie Morrison, was probably Maud Morrison’s older sister, Letitia Jane Morrison. In 1911, the sisters were living on Blackboy Road with her parents and younger sister. Letitia was born on 21 May 1899 in Cork, to Nobel Morrison and Mary Ann Johnston.

In the 1911 census Edith Galbraith was living with her grandparents and her cousin Ethel Ormston. Edith was born Edith Mable Galbraith on 8 March 1899 to John Galbraith, an estate clerk, and Deborah Ormston in Ballinasloe, Galway. She returned to Ballinasloe and died there in 1927 aged only 28 years old. She was recorded on her death certificate as ‘Farming class’.

Next to Edith is Madeline Guerin. She was one of the few Roman Catholics in the class. At the time of the 1911 census she was living in Jones Lane. She was the eldest of six children. She was born on 9 October 1897, in Pennywell to James Guerin, a carpenter, and Bridget Egan.

Dollie Waterstone, unfortunately, no further information has been located for Dolly. There was one Waterstone family living in Killeely House, Limerick in 1911, but there was no child called Dollie among them. It is likely this was Rebecca Waterstone as the sister Emily is in the front row.

(Front Row, Left to Right)

The first girl sitting in the front row was Ethel Stewart who despite being so tall was only about twelve years old in 1911. She was living in Roxtown Terrace with her six siblings and parents, Thomas Steward, RIC Constable, and Marion (Mary Anne). In 1901, she was living in Glin, County Limerick. She was a member of the Church of Ireland.

Standing next to Ethel, is Nancy Lauder, the youngest of the girls in the photograph. It is possible that she was related to Kathleen Lauder but she was not her sister.

Sitting next to Nancy, is possibly her relative, Kathleen Lauder. Kathleen was a Methodist who was living in Ballinacurra on the night of the 1911 census. She was born on 1 June 1902 in Castle Street, the eldest of William Lauder, auctioneer/accountant, and Eva White’s three children at the time.

In black is Eileen Reid, she was living on Hartstonge Street, near to the Model School on the night of the 1911 census. She was born on 23 October 1901 to Thomas Reid and Maud Appleby. Her father was a commercial traveller (travelling salesman).

Ethel Reid was living in Mount Vincent Cottages on the night of the 1911 census. She was the daughter of Robert Reid, post office clerk, and Minnie Bourne. She was born Ethel Esther on 17 May 1902. Her older sister Violet was in the middle row.

The next girl was Molly Miller who was most likely Mary Miller, a nine-year-old living on George Street (O’Connell Street) in 1911. She was a member of the Presbyterian church. The daughter of George and Margaret Miller. Her father worked as a caretaker.

Anne Lentin, was a member of the Jewish community in Limerick.

The only confirmed member of the Waterstone family in the image is Emily Waterstone. The Waterstone family living in Killeely House, Limerick in 1911. Her father Archibald’s family was connected to the Thomond Distillery.  

No record of Winifred Hehir could be located. It is possible that she was Winifred Hare living on Thomas Street on the night of the 1911 Census.

Finally, there was Sarah Goldberg she was a member of the Jewish community in Limerick. She was born on 24 February 1898, in Colooney Street (Wolfe Tone Street) the daughter of Simon Goldberg and Rachel Levine. Her father worked as a draper. Colooney Street was located near to the Model School.


You can also see a picture of some boys from the Model School in 1933 here.