James Osborne was believed to have been born in Swansea, Glamorgan, Wales, around 1878, the son of James and Catherine Osborne. He married Annie McKibbon in Liverpool in 1900 and they lived at 5 York Street, off Duke Street, Liverpool, with Annie’s widowed sister, Lucy Milburn, and Lucy’s son.
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.). He was killed when she was sunk. He was aged about 37 years at the time of his death, although when signing on for his final voyage he claimed to have been aged 30 years!
His body was never found and identified afterwards and as a result, he is commemorated on the Mercantile Marine War Memorial at Tower Hill, London. He is also commemorated on the City of Liverpool Roll of Honour in the basement of the Town Hall in Liverpool.
In August 1915, the balance of wages still owed to him in respect of his service on the
Lusitania was also paid to his widow, Annie. It covered the period from 17th April until 8th May 1915, 24 hours after the great ship had foundered. In addition, The Liverpool and London War Risks Insurance Association Limited granted her a yearly pension which amounted to £35-9s-0d. (£39.45p.) which was payable at the rate of £2-19s-1d. (£2.95½p.) per month.
Register of Births, Marriages and Deaths, 1911 Census of England and Wales, Commonwealth War Grave Commission, Cunard Records, UniLiv. PR 13/24, PRO BT 334.