James Lord Collins was born on 28 April 1893 in Liverpool, Lancashire, England, the son of William Frederick and Deborah Collins. The family home was at 36 Fernie Street, Toxteth, Liverpool, Lancashire.
He engaged as a trimmer in the Engineering Department on board the Lusitania at Liverpool on 14 April 1915 for what would be the liner’s last ever voyage to America and reported for duty at 8am on 17 April, the day she left the River Mersey. As a trimmer his monthly rate of pay was £6-0s-0d and upon engagement, he was given an advance on his pay of £1-0s-0d. He had previously served on the SS Aidan.
Having completed the liner’s first part of her return trip to New York, he was still serving on board when she set out to cross the Atlantic back to Liverpool. On the afternoon of 7 May 1915, whilst in sight of the coast of southern Ireland, he lost his life when the Lusitania was torpedoed and sunk by the German submarine
U-20. At that stage of her voyage she was only hours away from docking. He was aged 22 years.
As his body was not recovered and identified afterwards he has no known grave, and as a result is commemorated on the Mercantile Marine War Memorial at Tower Hill, London.
In August 1915 his family was paid the balance of wages owing to Trimmer Collins, which represented his service on the
Lusitania from 17 April until 8 May 1915, 24 hours after the liner had been sunk.
Register of Births, Marriages and Deaths, 1901 Census of England and Wales, Commonwealth War Graves Commission, Cunard Records, PRO BT 100/345, PRO BT 350.