John Lawton was born in Liverpool, Lancashire on the 25th July 1880, the son of William and Sarah Ann Lawton. He was married to Margaret “Maggie” Lawton, (née Fagan) in Liverpool on the 26th December 1907, and they lived at 2, Shaw Terrace, Salisbury Street, Liverpool, Lancashire.
He engaged as a trimmer in the Engineering Department on board the Lusitania at Liverpool on 12th April 1915, at a monthly wage of £6-0s-0s. and joined the vessel at 8 a.m., on the morning of 17th April, before she left the River Mersey for the final time.
He was killed, three weeks later when the vessel was torpedoed and sunk. He was aged 34 years, although he gave his age as being 32 years when he engaged for the voyage!
His body was not recovered and identified afterwards and as a consequence, his name is embossed on the Mercantile Marine War Memorial at Tower Hill, London.
In August 1915, Maggie Lawton was given the balance of wages owed to her husband in respect of his service before the vessel sank. This was reckoned from 17th April until 8th May, 1915, 24 hours after the
Lusitania had gone down. In addition, The Liverpool and London War Risks Insurance Association Limited granted her an annual pension to compensate her for the loss of her husband. This amounted to £56-12s-5d. (£56.62p.) which was payable at the rate of £4-14s-5d. (£4.72p.) per month.
Register of Births, Marriages and Deaths, 1881 Census of England and Wales, 1891 Census of England and Wales, 1911 Census of England and Wales, Commonwealth War Graves Commission, Cunard Records, PRO BT 100/345, UniLiv D92/2/193, UniLiv. PR 13/24, PRO BT 334.