Isaac Linton was born in Newry, County Down, Northern Ireland, in 1864, the son of Isaac and Sarah Linton. The family moved to Liverpool, Lancashire, soon afterwards where Isaac’s brothers and sisters, Andrew, Elizabeth, Sarah and James were born. The family home was at 23, Titchfield Street, Liverpool.
On 26th August 1883, he married Annie Garrett and although he was only aged 19 years at this time, he gave his age on the marriage certificate as being 21! The couple had twelve children, five of whom survived childhood - Margaret, born in 1883, Catherine (Katie), born in 1891, Agnes, born in 1901, Annie, born in 1910, and James, born in 1896. Annie Linton died on 7th August 1911 and after that, Isaac Linton went to live at 6 Heriot Street, Liverpool.
He was a professional seaman in the Mercantile Marine and he engaged as a fireman in the Engineering Department on board the
Lusitania at Liverpool on 14th April 1915, for what would be the Lusitania’s last voyage. His monthly rate of pay as a fireman was £6-10s-0d., (£6.50p.). He reported for duty at 8.00 a.m. on 17th April, before the liner left England for the last time. His previous ship had been the S.S. La Rosarina.
When the ship was torpedoed, he was on watch in the engine room and suffered a head injury. A fellow fireman from the same watch, John O’Connell helped him up to the deck and into the sea and although John O’Connell survived, Isaac Linton did not. He was aged 51 years, although once again, he gave a false age of 48 years, when he engaged.
His body was recovered from the sea afterwards and taken to one of the temporary mortuaries in Queenstown. There, it was given the reference number 65 and also photographed and the family later saw a copy of this photograph, clearly showing the head injury. It is not known whether this injury caused him to perish in the sea.
Once a positive identification had been made, however, he was buried in The Old Church Cemetery, Queenstown, on 10th May 1915, the day that most of the victims were buried, in a mass funeral, which began at the Cunard offices at Lynch Quay. His remains lie there today in Mass Grave C, 1st Row, Lower Tier.
No property was recovered from his body, but the balance of wages owing to him at his time of death was later paid to his widow Annie, by Cunard. The qualifying time for this sum of money was reckoned from 17th April until 8th May 1915, 24 hours after the liner had gone down.
Despite his having an identified grave, the records of the Commonwealth War Graves Commission showed that his body was never recovered from the sea and as a consequence he is commemorated on the Mercantile Marine Memorial to the Missing, at Tower Hill, London. After the author had submitted positive information about his burial to the Commission, however, it agreed to amend its records to show his true burial place.
Also at the instigation of the author, in November 1998, the Commission erected a commemorative wall of Irish limestone in The Old Church Cemetery, behind the centre one of the three mass graves and his name is clearly inscribed on the **** hand panel.
The Commission has further stated that should the bronze panel which bears his name at Tower Hill ever need to be renewed in the future, his details will be removed from it.
Register of Births, Marriages and Deaths, 1871 Census of England and Wales, 1881 Census of England and Wales, 1891 Census of England and Wales, 1901 Census of England and Wales, 1911 Census of England and Wales, Commonwealth War Graves Commission, Cunard Records, PRO BT 100/345, Gerry Stenson, PRO BT 334.