Daniel ‘Dan’ Daly was born in Dublin, County Dublin, Ireland, in 1873, the son of John and Mary H. Daly. He was married to Maud Daly, (née Hockey) and they lived at 4 Court, 5 House, Ashfield Street, Liverpool, Lancashire, England.
He engaged as a fireman in the Engineering Department on board the Lusitania, at Liverpool, on the 13 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 four days later, on the early morning of 17 April, in time for the vessel’s last ever voyage out of the River Mersey. He had previously served on the S.S.
Three weeks later, he was killed when the Cunarder was torpedoed and sunk off the coast of southern Ireland and only hours away from her home port. He was aged 42 years, although he gave his age on engagement as 39! He also stated that he had been born in Liverpool! His body was never recovered and identified afterwards and as a consequence, he is commemorated on the Mercantile Marine Memorial to The Missing, at Tower Hill, London.
A truly pathetic scene was reported in 'The Times' on Monday 10 May 1915, involving Dan Daly and his mother Mary. It was related by a Times correspondent, who was at Lime Street Station in Liverpool amongst relatives of passengers and crew, all waiting for survivors to arrive from Ireland:
“I saw one elderly woman, with her shawl hanging from her shoulders and her grey hair in disarray, advancing slowly through the crowd, calling out ‘Is Dan Daly among ye? Dan Daly the fireman?’ She was a mother looking distractedly for her son. Clutching by the arm each member of the crew she encountered, she would moaningly ask whether he did not know Dan Daly the fireman but none of them did know him.
At last she came upon a fireman who did know, and I heard the decisive answer which shattered her hopes. ‘Dan is gone, ma’am. He was down below at the time.’
Throwing up her hands with a gesture of despair, the mother turned aside to lean over a packing case for support, while she wailed and wailed in sorrow.”
Cunard records show the fireman’s surname to be Daley, but this is an error which probably occurred when the crew lists were written down at the time of his engagement, from verbal information.
In August 1915, Dan Daly’s widow Maud, was paid the balance of wages owing to him for his service on the
Lusitania from 17 April until 8 May, 24 hours after the great ship had gone down. In addition, The Liverpool and London War Risks Insurance Association Limited granted a yearly pension to Maud Daly to compensate her for the loss of her husband which amounted to £45-11s-6d (£45.57½) which was payable at the rate of £3-16s-0d (£3.80) per month.
Commonwealth War Graves Commission, Cunard Records, PRO BT 100/345, The Times, UniLiv. PR 13/24.