James Dalrymple was born in Wigtownshire, Scotland in 1863. In 1886, he married Janet Allen, who was a widow with three children, in West Derby, Liverpool. James and Janet had four children of their own, and in 1915, the family lived at 113 Claudia Street, Liverpool, Lancashire, England.
James engaged as a refrigerating greaser in the Engineering Branch on board the
Lusitania at Liverpool on 12 April 1915 at a monthly rate of pay of £5-10s-0d (£5.50) and reported for duty at 8am on the morning of 17 April in time for the liner’s last ever voyage out of the River Mersey. He had served on the liner before.
On 1 May 1915, having successfully crossed the Atlantic and docked at New York, the liner had set off again on the return leg of her voyage back to her home port, when on the afternoon of 7 May, she was torpedoed and sunk off The Old Head of Kinsale in southern Ireland, by the German U-Boat U-20. At that stage, she was within fourteen hours of docking at Liverpool.
Refrigerating Greaser Dalrymple was lucky enough to survive this enemy action and having been rescued from the sea, he was landed at Queenstown, from where he eventually made it back to Liverpool.
Once there, he was officially discharged from the Lusitania’s
last voyage and paid the balance of wages owing to him in respect of it. This amounted to £5-18s-8d (£5.92) and represented his service on board from 17 April to 8 May, 24 hours after the liner had foundered. He was 51 years old at the time of the sinking.
James continued as a refrigerating greaser, serving on a number of different vessels, until he retired, aged 65 years, in 1929. Also, in early 1929, his wife Janet died aged 71 years.
James Dalrymple died in early 1951 in Liverpool, aged 87 years.
1901 Census of England and Wales, 1911 Census of England and Wales, Cunard Records, PRO BT 100/345, PRO BT 349.