The John Henry Hayes collection

Unfortunately these objects are not on display from 22 October 2014 until 27 March 2015.

composite of 2 portrait photos

Photographs of John Henry Hayes and Jeanette Hayes on their wedding day. Accession no. DX/1909

John Henry Hayes was junior 5th engineer on the Lusitania. He married Jeanette Purves on 14 August 1914, less than a year before he lost his life in the Lusitania disaster.

John was never to know his daughter Jeanette, who was born just weeks after the Lusitania sank. The Cunard Steamship Company paid for her to attend school in Colwyn Bay North Wales.

Photograph of John's daughter Jeanette. Accession no. DX/1909

John’s widow Jeanette was one of the last surviving Lusitania crew widows to draw a pension from Cunard Steamship Company. She died in 1984, aged 89 years.

The following poignant items were donated to the museum in 1999 by the family of John Henry Hayes:

  • Marriage certificate of John Henry Hayes and Jeanette Purves dated 14 August 1914
  • Photographs of John Henry and Jeanette Hayes on their wedding day, 14 August 1914
  • Photograph of junior 5th engineer John Henry Hayes in uniform on board ship c1915
  • Love poem to Jeanette written by John Henry Hayes while serving on board the Lusitania, to mark New Years Day 1915. In it he refers to their unborn child
  • Birth certificate of Jeanette Hayes, daughter of John Henry and Jeanette Hayes, born on 27 May 1915
  • Photograph of Jeanette Hayes, daughter of John Henry and Jeanette
  • British War Medal 1914-18, Mercantile Marine Medal and Next of Kin memorial plaque awarded posthumously to John Henry Hayes
  • Board of Trade Letter sent to John Henry Hayes’s widow, Jeanette. It accompanied the British War Medal and Mercantile Marine Medal awarded posthumously on 19 April 1922.

Photograph of junior 5th engineer John Henry Hayes in uniform on board ship c1915. Accession no. DX/1909