People's Stories

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

Michael Tierney

Michael Tierney

About Michael

Michael Tierney was born in Liverpool, Lancashire, England, on the 11th November 1882, the son of James and Mary Tierney.  For many years, the family home was at 62. Raymond Street, Liverpool.  On completion of his education, he worked at a number of labouring jobs before joining the British Mercantile Marine as a Fireman and Trimmer.

On the 12th January 1904, he married Elizabeth Barlow in Liverpool, and the couple had six children.  They resided at 5 Court, 5 House, Dryden Street, Liverpool.

Michael Tierney engaged as a fireman in the Engineering Department on board the Lusitania, at Liverpool, on the 12th April 1915, at a monthly rate of pay of £6-10s-0d, (£6.50p.), £1-0s-0d. of which he was advanced at the time.  He joined the vessel on the morning of 17th April, in time for the liner’s last ever sailing out of her home port.  It was not the first time that he had served on board.

Having completed her voyage to New York, Michael Tierney was serving on her return journey, only hours away from her Liverpool destination, on the afternoon of 7th May 1915, when she was struck and sunk by a single torpedo fired by the German submarine U-20, under the command of Kapitänleutnant Walther Schwieger, off the coast of southern Ireland.  He was fortunate to survive the sinking.

Having been rescued from the sea, he was landed at Queenstown from where he eventually made it back to Liverpool.

Once there, he was officially discharged from the Lusitania’s final voyage and paid the balance of wages owing to him, which was in respect of his sea service from 17th April until 8th May 1915 - 24 hours after the liner had gone down.

On the 11th December 1915, Michael Tierney went to St. George’s Hall in Liverpool city centre and enlisted in the British Army for the duration of the war.  As 222483 Sapper Michael Tierney, he was assigned to the Inland Water Transport Corps, which was a unit of the Royal Engineers.  No doubt, his experience as a marine fireman was a major consideration in assigning him to this unit.  At some stage during his service, his service number changed to WR.504336.

Not much is known about Michael’s military service, except he joined the British Expeditionary Force in France on the 5th January 1917.  On the 9th November 1918, two days before hostilities officially ceased, Sapper Michael Tierney was admitted to No. 2. General Hospital, Le Havre, suffering from influenza.  He died there on the 16th November, the cause of death being bronco-pneumonia.  His remains were buried in Div. 62. II. P. 4. in Sainte Marie Cemetery, Le Havre.

Elizabeth Tierney received an army pension following the death of her husband, and she remarried in 1919.  Her second husband was a man named Patrick Nugent.  Elizabeth Nugent died in Liverpool in 1958.

Register of Births, Marriages and Deaths, 1891 Census of England and Wales, 1901 Census of England and Wales, 1911 Census of England and Wales, Commonwealth War Graves Commission, Cunard Records.

Michael Tierney



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