William Culshaw was born in Liverpool, Lancashire England in 1888. In 1915 he lived at 100 Buckingham Street, Everton, Liverpool.
He was a professional seaman in the British Mercantile Marine and on 12 April 1915 at Liverpool he engaged as a fireman in the Engineering Department on board the
Lusitania, at a monthly rate of pay of £6-10s-0d (£6.50). He reported for duty at 8am five days later, before the liner left the River Mersey for the last time. His previous ship had been the White Star Liner
The Lusitania crossed the Atlantic without incident and docked in New York on 24 April 1915. She left on her return voyage to Liverpool at 12.27pm on 1 May. Six days out of New York, 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 and only at most 250 miles away from the safety of her home port.
William Culshaw was lucky enough to survive this action, and having been rescued from the sea he was landed at Queenstown, from where he was eventually able to get back to his native city.
In Liverpool he was paid the balance of wages owing to him in respect of his time on board the
Lusitania, which was reckoned from 17 April to 8 May 1915, 24 hours after the liner had gone down. This balance amounted to £2-14s-0d (£2.70).
Cunard Records, PRO BT 100/345.