John Dwyer was born in Liverpool, Lancashire, England in 1872.
He was a professional seaman in the Mercantile Marine and became a naturalized citizen of the United States of America. His permanent residence was in Bayou Lacuan, Louisiana. He engaged for service as a fireman in the Engineering Branch on board the
Lusitania at Liverpool on the morning of 17th April 1915, just before she left the River Mersey for the last time. His monthly rate of pay was £7-10s-0d., (£7.50p.).
His previous ship had been the S.S. Trinculo, and as he joined the
Lusitania just before she set sail for New York, he must have gone to Princes Landing Stage then and taken the place of a fireman who had failed to turn up, as most of the crew had engaged on 12th or 13th of April.
He survived the sinking three weeks later and eventually made it back to Liverpool, where he was officially discharged from the vessel’s final voyage, receiving at the same time, the balance of wages owing to him in respect of his sea service. This amounted to £5-14s-0d., (£5.70p.) and covered the period from 17th April to 8th May 1915, 24 hours after the liner had gone down. His address in Liverpool was c/o Mrs. Ellen Harlow, Ford Street.
Cunard records erroneously give his name as John Dyer but the original Particulars of Engagement book held at the Public Record Office in Kew, Surrey, which every crew member signed when he engaged, clearly shows his signature to be John Dwyer.
Cunard Records, PRO BT 100/345, Michael Poirier.