George Quine was born in Kirkdale, Liverpool, Lancashire on the 17th August 1864, the son of John Thomas and Christian Quine. His parents were born on the Isle of Man, and in 1867, George’s mother, Christian Quine, died at the family home at 47. Lancaster Street, Kirkdale, Liverpool. George’s father remarried, but died in 1874.
On the 6th June 1892, George married Jane Johnson and they had two children, a son named John Thomas, and a daughter named Margaret, before Jane died on the 18th November 1892 at 41. Rockingham Street, Liverpool, which was the family home at that time.
George Quine engaged as a greaser in the Engineering Department on board the
Lusitania at Liverpool on 12th April 1915 and joined the ship on the morning of 17th April, before she slipped out of the River Mersey for the final time. As a greaser, his monthly rate of pay was £7-0s-0d. At the time he engaged, George Quine was lodging with his daughter Margaret, at 19, Crocus Street, Stanley Road, Kirkdale, Liverpool, the home of a Robert and Annie Edwards.
Having completed the first leg of the liner’s return trip to New York, George Quine was killed on the afternoon of 7th May 1915, when the vessel was torpedoed and sunk by the German submarine
U-20, when she was within sight of the coast of southern Ireland and only hours away from her home port. He was aged 50 years.
His body was not recovered and identified afterwards and as a consequence, his name is embossed on the Memorial to the Missing of the Mercantile Marine at Tower Hill, London.
By the time of the sinking, his son John Thomas Quine was serving in the British Army. Presumably obtaining compassionate leave, he approached The Liverpool Town Hall Soldiers’ and Sailors’ Families Association concerning a possible grant of assistance for his sister Margaret, whom he described as being of weak intellect and on 28th May 1915, the association’s secretary wrote the following letter on his behalf, to The Lusitania Relief Fund, which was administered by the Lord Mayor of Liverpool: -
I had a visit last week from a soldier, J.T. Quine, whose father lost his life on the “Lusitania” where he was employed as (a) greaser.
His object was to tell me that his sister, Margaret Quine, (who with himself are the only family left by the man Quine) was of weak intellect and that he was particularly anxious that no money should be paid to her until he had managed to get her removed from the public house where she is at present employed and from the guardianship of a certain Mrs. Edwards of 19, Crocus Street, Stanley Road, who has hitherto had charge of her, as he is quite sure that any money paid to her at present would not be allowed to benefit the girl and would only make her removal more difficult.
I wrote to the Public Trustee on his behalf asking him to take charge of the case and have ascertained that he is willing to do so if it is proved practicable. I also sent a visitor, who fully confirmed the youth’s account of his sister’s circumstances and entirely agrees with him that his aunt, Mrs. McDonald, 10, Zante Street, Kirkdale, is the right person to have charge of her and that it would be better that no money should be paid to the girl until we have got her into the hands of Mrs. McDonald.
I thought it well to inform you of this, as it seemed probable that Mrs. Edwards would make an application from the Relief Fund on behalf of Margaret Quine.
The Lusitania Relief Fund had been set up immediately after the liner had been sunk, by The Lord Mayor of Liverpool and other local businessmen, to help second and third class passenger survivors and the relatives of those who had perished, who had suffered great financial loss as a result of the disaster. It was naturally assumed that saloon passengers would have the necessary financial backing not to be so affected by any loss.
It is not known if Margaret Quine ever moved in with her aunt, Mrs. McDonald or received any money from the fund! Her brother, John Quine, survived the war and later followed his late father into the mercantile marine, serving as a steward. He died in 1948.
The records of the Commonwealth War Graves Commission state that George Quine’s parents were Christian and Jane, but this is obviously an error and should have been recorded as John and Christian.
Register of Births, Marriages and Deaths, 1871 Census of England and Wales, 1881 Census of England and Wales, 1901 Census of England and Wales, 1911 Census of England and Wales, Commonwealth War Graves Commission, Cunard Records, Joe Devereux, Liverpool Record Office, PRO BT 100/345, PRO BT 334.