Ralph Alfred Shepherd was born in Kirkdale, Liverpool, Lancashire, on the 5th October 1874, the son of Ralph and Catherine Shepherd. He was married to Hannah Margaret Boylan in Liverpool on the 21st November 1898, and they lived at 13, Kilburn Street, Litherland, Liverpool.
Ralph was a professional seaman in the British Mercantile Marine and served as a fireman in the Engineering Department on board the
Lusitania and he was killed when she was sunk. He was aged 40 years at the time of the sinking, although he stated that he was aged 49 years when he signed on!
His body was never recovered and identified and his name is embossed on the Mercantile Marine Memorial at Tower Hill, London.
He is also commemorated on a memorial in St. Elizabeth of Hungary Roman Catholic Church, in Webster Street, Litherland.
The balance of wages owing to him was eventually paid to his widow at Liverpool in August 1915. The Liverpool and London War Risks Insurance Association Limited also granted her an annual pension which amounted to £74-3s-9d. (£74.18p.), payable at the rate of £6-3s-10d. (£6.19½p.) per month.
Register of Births, Marriages and Deaths, 1881 Census of England and Wales, 1891 Census of England and Wales, 1901 Census of England and Wales, 1911 Census of England and Wales, Commonwealth War Graves Commission, Cunard Records, UniLiv. PR 13/24, PRO BT 334.