Peter McNally was born in Liverpool, Lancashire, England, in 1894. He was a professional seaman in the mercantile marine and lived at 12, Alexander Street, Walton, Liverpool. This was also the address of fellow seaman H. Lockett, so it may have been a lodging house or simply McNally‘s home address as Lockett originally came from Crewe in Cheshire.
He signed on board the Lusitania at Liverpool on 12th May 1915 as a seaman in the Deck Department, at a monthly rate of pay of £5-10-0d, (£5.50p.). On engagement, £1-10s-0d, (£1.50p.) of this sum was advanced to him. He sailed with the vessel when she left the River Mersey for the last time, on the morning of 17th May, for New York.
Three weeks later, on the afternoon of 7th May, when the vessel was on her return trip to Liverpool, he was killed after she was torpedoed and sunk by the German submarine
U-20. He was aged 21years. At the time, the Lusitania was only twelve miles off the coast of southern Ireland and only hours away from her destination.
Seaman McNally’s body was not recovered and identified afterwards and as a result, he is commemorated on the Mercantile Marine Memorial at Tower Hill, London.
The balance of wages owing to him was eventually paid to his family in Liverpool in August 1915. This was in respect of his service from 17th April 1915, until 8th May, 24 hours after the liner had foundered.
Commonwealth War Graves Commission records show his rank as that of able seaman, but those of The Cunard Steam Ship Company, compiled at the time of his engaging and published in March 1916, are more likely to be accurate.
Commonwealth War Graves Commission, Cunard Records, PRO BT 100/345, PRO BT 334.