Joseph Edward Tear was born in Liverpool, Lancashire in 1892, the son of Joseph and Mary Ann Tear. On the 2nd March 1913, he married Sarah Ellen Powell at St. Ambrose Church, Everton, Liverpool, and they lived at 8, Upper Roscommon Street, Everton, Liverpool.
He engaged as a trimmer in the Engineering Department on board the Lusitania at Liverpool on 12th April 1915 at a monthly wage of £6-0s-0d., and reported for duty at 7 a.m. on 17th April, before the liner left the River Mersey for her final voyage ever.
He was killed three weeks later when the liner foundered and as his body was never recovered and identified, he is commemorated on the Mercantile Marine Memorial to the Missing at Tower Hill, London. He was aged 23 years.
In August of the same year, he was officially discharged from the last voyage of the
Lusitania and his widow was paid the balance of wages owed to him, in respect of his service on board the
Lusitania from 17th April 1915, until 8th May, 24 hours after the vessel had gone down! In addition, The Liverpool and London War Risks Insurance Association Limited granted a yearly pension to Sarah Ellen Tear which amounted to £37-19s-7d. (£37.98p.) which was payable at the rate of £3-3s-4d. (£3.16½p.) per month.
The records of the Commonwealth War Graves Commission state that his father’s name was John, but this is an error.
Register of Births, Marriages and Deaths, 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.