Charles Thomas Knight was born in Gosport, Hampshire, England in 1881. In 1915 he lived at 37 Romsey Road, Southampton, Hampshire.
He was a professional seaman in the Mercantile Marine and on 12th April 1915, he engaged at Liverpool, on board the
Lusitania, as an able seaman in the Deck Department, at a monthly rate of pay of £5-15s-0d., (£5.75p.). The sum of £1-10-0d., (£1.50p.), was advanced to him at the time, which indicated that he was a trusted crew member and had sailed on the liner before.
Having joined her at Pier Head on the morning of 17th April, in time for what became her last ever voyage out of the River Mersey, he completed her crossing to New York and was similarly engaged when she began her return to Liverpool on 1st May.
When she was torpedoed and sunk by the German submarine U-20, off the southern coast of Ireland six days later, on the afternoon of 7th May, almost half of the Deck Department seaman perished as a result. Able Seaman Knight was amongst those who managed to survive, however. At that time, the liner was only hours away from her home port.
Having been rescued from the sea, he was landed at Queenstown from where he eventually managed to get to Liverpool.
There, on 10th May 1915, he was officially discharged from the Lusitania's
last voyage and paid the balance of wages owed to him in respect of his service. This amounted to £5-14s-6d., (£5.72½p.), and was reckoned from the day the return voyage began at Liverpool, until 24 after the liner had gone down!
Despite surviving the sinking of the Lusitania; however, he only had a further six months to live as he was killed as the result of a tragic accident on the railway line at Southampton Docks, Hampshire, on the 8th November 1918, whilst serving as Quartermaster on the S.S. Matheran. He was aged 34 years.
Register of Births, Marriages, and Deaths, 1881 Census of England and Wales, 1891 Census of England and Wales, 1901 Census of England and Wales, Cunard Records, PRO BT 100/345, Southern Daily Echo, PRO BT 334.