Patrick Sheridan was born in County Westmeath, Ireland in 1859, the son of John and Mary Sheridan. He married Charlotte Smyth in Mullingar, Co. Westmeath, in 1878, and shortly afterwards, the couple travelled across the Irish Sea to Liverpool where work was more plentiful. They eventually settled into their home at 6, Boreland Street, Bootle, Liverpool, Lancashire, with their ten children, John, Rosanna, Catherine, Esther, Edward, Anna, Mary, Margaret, Katherine and Theresa, although by 1915, two of the children had died.
Patrick became a professional seaman in the British Mercantile Marine, and signed on as a fireman in the Engineering Department on board the
Lusitania at Liverpool on 12th April 1915 at a wage of £6-10s-0d., (£6.50p.), per month, £1 of which was advanced to him at the time. He reported for duty five days later, at 8 a.m., the day the liner left Liverpool for the very last time.
He died three weeks later, after she was torpedoed and no identifiable trace of his body was ever discovered afterwards. Consequently, he is commemorated on the Mercantile Marine Memorial at Tower Hill, London.
He is also commemorated on a white marble memorial tablet in St. James' Roman Catholic Church, in Chestnut Grove, Bootle, the municipal war memorial in Stanley Road, Bootle, and on the headstone on the family grave in Ford Roman Catholic Cemetery in Litherland, Liverpool.
The headstone is very weathered and has a figure of Jesus on the top and inscribed below: -
Pray for the Soul of
LOST AT SEA SS LUSITANIA
7 MAY 1915 AGED 56 YEARS
Although he was aged 56 years, when he died, when he engaged for service on 12th April, he stated that he was 53!
Although the liner sank on 7th May 1915, Cunard paid its crew until 8th May, irrespective of whether they were killed or survived, and in August 1915, the balance of wages owing to Fireman Sheridan, £4-14s-0d., (£4.70p.), was paid to his widow Charlotte. In addition, The Liverpool and London War Risks Insurance Association Limited also granted her an annual pension which amounted to £17-2s-8d. (£17.13½p.), payable at the rate of £1-8s-7d. (£1.43p.) per month.
Charlotte Sheridan died in Liverpool in late 1943, aged 84 years. She never re-married.
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, Rita Jones, PRO BT 100/345, UniLiv. PR 13/24, PRO BT 334.