People's Stories

Everyone on the Lusitania's last voyage, including passengers and crew.

Thomas Ruddan

Thomas Ruddan

About Thomas

Thomas Frederick Rudden was born in Liverpool, Lancashire, England, on the 19th December 1885, the son of Thomas and Rebecca Rudden (née Atkinson).

He was a professional sailor in the Mercantile Marine at Liverpool on 12th April 1915, he engaged as a trimmer in the Engineering Department on board the Lusitania at a monthly wage of £6-0s-0d.  He reported for duty at 8 a.m. on 17th April, the day she left the River Mersey for the last time.

Having experienced an uneventful voyage to New York, he was still on board when the Lusitania departed from New York on the afternoon of the 1st May.  Six days out of New York and only hours away from her Liverpool destination, the Lusitania was torpedoed and sunk off the coast of southern Ireland by the German submarine U-20.  At that time, she was only about 250 miles away from the safety of her home port.  Thomas Rudden survived the sinking.

On his eventual return to Liverpool, Thomas Rudden was officially discharged from the last voyage of the Lusitania and was paid the balance of wages owing to him, which amounted to £5-6s-2d., (£5.30p.).  This sum was in respect of his service on board from 17th April 1915, until 8th May, 24 hours after the vessel had gone down.

Thomas Rudden continued to serve as a trimmer and fireman on liners for many years and on the 15th December 1919, he married Mary Ennis in Liverpool.  At that time, he resided at 2. Lancaster Terrace, Liverpool.

Thomas Rudden died in Liverpool in 1965, aged 81 years.

Cunard records show Thomas Rudden’s surname to be spelled Ruddan, however; his correct surname was certainly Rudden, as his census, birth, and marriage records state it as such, although his death record states his name to be Ruddin!

Register of Births, Marriages and Deaths, 1891 Census of England and Wales, 1901 Census of England and Wales, 1911 Census of England and Wales, Cunard Records, PRO BT 348.

Thomas Ruddan



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