John Mitchell was born in Liverpool, Lancashire, England, in 1892, the son of Charles and Alice Mitchell. He was married to Mary Ann Robinson in Liverpool on the 27th May 1912, and they lived at 65, Highgate Street, Edge Hill, Liverpool.
He engaged as a fireman in the Engineering Department on board the Lusitania, at Liverpool, on the 12th April 1915, at a monthly rate of pay of £6-10s-0d, (£6.50p.) and was killed when she was sunk on the 7th May 1915.
His body was not recovered and identified afterwards and as a result he is commemorated on the Mercantile Marine Memorial at Tower Hill, London. He was aged 23 years.
In a list of crew members published by the Cunard Steam Ship Company in March 1916, Fireman Mitchell's initials are shown shown as
D.J.. The records of the Commonwealth War Graves Commission, which are normally more reliable, only show one forename, however.
In August 1915, his family received from Cunard, the balance of pay owed to him in respect of his service on the
Lusitania’s last voyage. This was reckoned to be from 17th April 1915 until 8th May - 24 hours after the liner had been sunk. The Liverpool and London War Risks Insurance Association Limited granted his widow a yearly pension to compensate her for the loss of her husband which amounted to £24-2s-1d. (£24.10½p.) which was payable at the rate of £2-0s-2d. (£2.01p.) per month.
Register of Births, Marriages and Deaths, 1911 English Census, 1901 English Census, 1891 English Census, Commonwealth War Graves Commission, Cunard Records, UniLiv. PR 13/24, PRO BT 334.