James O'Neill was born in Wigan, Lancashire, England in 1870 and lived at 4, Upper Bute Street, Liverpool City Centre, in Lancashire.
He was a professional Mercantile Marine fireman and engaged on board the Lusitania in the Engineering Department at Liverpool on 12th April 1915 at a monthly rate of pay of £6-10s-0d., (£6.50). He reported for duty at 8 a.m. five days later, before the liner departed on her last ever voyage out of the River Mersey. His previous ship had been the White Star Liner
He survived the sinking and having been rescued, he was landed at Queenstown before making his way back to Liverpool. There, he was officially discharged from the
Lusitania and paid the balance of wages owing to him, which amounted to £4-14s-0d., (£4.70p.).
The Arabic was also torpedoed and sunk off the Old Head of Kinsale, on 18th September 1915 by the German submarine U 24, when she was outward bound from Liverpool to New York.
British Merchant Ships Sunk by U-Boats, Cunard Records, PRO BT 100/345, PRO BT 349.