Robert McLean was born in Kirkdale, Liverpool, Lancashire, in 1887, the son of Peter and Sarah McLean. The family home was at 158. Orwell Road, Kirkdale, Liverpool. He married Ada Louise Brightman in Liverpool in 1914, and the couple set up home at 16, Newman Street, Kirkdale, Liverpool.
He was employed as a plumber in the Engineering Department on board the Lusitania and was killed when she was sunk. He was aged 27 years.
His body was not recovered and identified afterwards and as a consequence, his name is embossed on the Mercantile Marine Memorial at Tower Hill, London.
In August 1915, his widow was given the balance of wages owed to him for the
Lusitania’s last ever voyage. This was in respect of his service from 17th April 1915 until 8th May - 24 hours after the vessel had gone down. In addition, The Liverpool and London War Risks Insurance Association Limited granted a yearly pension to Ada McLean to compensate her for the loss of her husband. This amounted to £57-18s-4d. (£57.91½p.) which was payable at the rate of £4-16s-7d. (£4.83p.) per month.
Ada Louise McLean was pregnant when her husband lost his life and in late 1915 or early 1916, she gave birth to a son, whom she named Robert! Ada died in Liverpool in 1990, aged 99 years. She never remarried.
Register of Births, Marriages and Deaths, 1911 English Census, 1901 English Census, Commonwealth War Graves Commission, Cunard Records, UniLiv. PR 13/24, PRO BT 334.