Hugh Stanley was born in County Armagh, Northern Ireland, on the 29th October 1882. He was married, his wife’s name being Elizabeth.
He was a professional seaman in the Mercantile Marine and engaged on the Lusitania
at Liverpool on 12th April 1915, as a fireman in the Engineering Department. He was paid a monthly wage of £6-10s-0d., (£6.50) and he was advanced £1-0s-0d of this at the time. He had served on the vessel before. He reported fro duty at 8 a.m. on the 17th April, in time for the liner’s last ever departure from the River Mersey.
He survived the sinking, three weeks later when the liner was on the homeward leg of her voyage and was only hours away from Liverpool, and having been taken from the sea, he was landed at Queenstown.
In an article under the headline "Corkman's Thrilling Story" published in
The Cork Examiner on 13th May 1915, fellow fireman and Irishman Charles Scannell told of his experiences during and after the sinking, and mentioned Hugh Stanley:-
As far as I can learn since, only two of the seventeen room mates of mine were saved, in addition to myself, namely Hugh Stanley and Patrick McMahon. There were in all about 200 firemen and trimmers in the ship - the "Black Gang," as they are called, and the majority of these were drowned, and I have no doubt that all the men in stoke holds on the 12 to 4 watch went down too."
Although Scannell and Stanley both survived, Patrick McMahon did not, so Scannell must have been mistaken in this belief!
After being landed at Queenstown, Hugh Stanley eventually made it back to Liverpool, where he was officially discharged from the
Lusitania’s final voyage and given the balance of wages owed to him, which amounted to £4-14s-0d., (£4.70p.). This was in respect of his sea service from 17th April until 8th May 1915, 24 hours after the great liner went down.
Hugh Stanley later immigrated to the United States of America where he became a naturalised citizen. He is known to have resided at 26. South Street, New York City, and continued to serve in the merchant navy for many years after his ordeal on the
Cork Examiner, Cunard Records, PRO BT 100/345, PRO BT 349.