Andrew Cross was born in Liverpool, Lancashire, England in 1881, the son of Andrew H and Elizabeth Cross. His father was a butcher. In 1915 his home was at 155 Leyden Street, Kirkdale, Liverpool.
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), £1-0s-0d of which was advanced to him at the time. He reported for duty five days later for what became the liner‘s last sailing from her home port. He had served on the
Having completed the liner’s crossing to New York without mishap, Fireman Cross was serving on board on the early afternoon of 1 May, as the
Lusitania left New York on her return voyage to Liverpool. Six days later on the afternoon of 7 May she was torpedoed and sunk by the German submarine
U-20, within sight of the coast of southern Ireland. At that time she was only about 14 hours steaming time away from the safety of her home port.
Andrew Cross survived the sinking and was rescued from the sea and landed at Queenstown. When he arrived home he gave a short interview with the press, which was published in 'The Lancashire Daily Post'
on Monday 10 May:
"Andrew Cross, a fireman, ...said he put a lady passenger in a collapsible boat on the upper deck of the liner, and this was precipitated into the sea when the liner sank.
When he jumped into the water himself, he was grasped by the hair of the head by the very lady whose escape he had assisted, and who helped him into the boat.
One of the funnels was blown up, and when the liner fell over on her starboard side, the three other funnels crashed into and destroyed a number of laden lifeboats."
Once back in Liverpool, Fireman Cross was officially discharged and paid the balance of wages owing to him, which amounted to £5-14s-0d (£5.70). This was in respect of his service on board from 17 April to 8 May, 24 hours after the vessel had gone down. All the Lusitania’s crew, survived or perished, were given this privilege by Cunard.
'The Lancashire Daily Post' article gave Fireman Cross’s address as 149 Arlington Street, Liverpool, which is the next street to Leyden Street, in Kirkdale.
Register of Births, Marriages and Deaths, 1881 Census of England and Wales, 1891 Census of England and Wales, 1911 Census of England and Wales, Cunard Records, Lancashire Daily Post, PRO BT 100/234.