Patrick Casey was born in Wicklow, Ireland in 1867. He lived at 45 Akenside Street, Bootle, Lancashire, England with his wife, Bridget, whom he married in 1885, and their four children.
Nothing else is known about his early life or family background, except that he engaged as a fireman in the Engineering Department on board the
Lusitania at Liverpool on 12 April 1915 at a monthly rate of pay of £6-10s-0d (£6.50), £1 of which was advanced to him at the time. He joined the liner five days later before she set sail on her final ever crossing to New York.
He lost his life when she was sunk three weeks later, but his body was one of the few that were recovered from the sea afterwards.
At first his body was given the reference number 39 in one of the temporary mortuaries at Queenstown. Following positive identification it was buried on 10 May 1915, in Mass Grave C, 1st Row, Upper Tier in The Old Church Cemetery, Queenstown, County Cork, where it lies today. It was on that day that most of the burials of Lusitania victims took place after a long funeral procession which began at Cunard’s offices at Lynch Quay, Queenstown.
Fireman Casey was 48 years old when he died.
Despite his having an actual burial place, the records of the Commonwealth War Graves Commission originally stated that he has no grave but the sea and as a consequence he is also commemorated on the Mercantile Marine War Memorial at Tower Hill, London.
However once the author had established his true place of burial, the Commission agreed to commemorate him where he lies and amended the Tower Hill records accordingly. It further stated that should the bronze panel on the London memorial ever need to be replaced, then the replacement casting would omit his name as he is now known to be commemorated elsewhere.
In November 1998 the Commission erected a memorial to him and all those other crew members buried in the mass graves. It takes the form of a monument of Irish limestone, sited at the head of Mass Grave B, the centre one of the three. The names of crew members buried in the three mass graves are incised on two black granite panels on the memorial, with a legend in between them, which reads:
"1914 - 1918
IN HONOURED MEMORY
OF THOSE NAMED WHO,
SERVING ON THE
DIED WHEN THE SHIP WAS
SUNK BY ENEMY ACTION
ON 7 MAY 1915
AND ARE BURIED NEARBY"
The name of Fireman Casey is incised on the left hand panel.
In August 1915 his widow was paid the residue of wages owed to him in respect of his service on the
Lusitania, from 17 April 1915 until 8 May - 24 hours after the ship had foundered. In addition the Liverpool and London War Risks Insurance Association Limited also granted a yearly pension to Bridget Casey to compensate her for the loss of her husband which amounted to £35-15s-0d (£35.75) payable at the rate of £2-19s-7d (£2.98) per month.
1891 Census of England and Wales, 1901 Census of England and Wales, 1911 Census of England and Wales, Commonwealth War Graves Commission, Cunard Records, PRO BT 100/345, PRO BT 334, UniLiv. PR 13/24.