Richard Walsh was born in Liverpool, Lancashire, on the 15th May 1881, the son of Michael and Elizabeth Walsh.
On the 8th October 1900, he married Ellen McKenna in Liverpool, and the couple made their home at 52. Ashfield Cottages, Vauxhall, Liverpool. They resided her for the remainder of their lives.
Richard Walsh was a professional seaman in the Mercantile Marine and engaged as a greaser in the Engineering Department on board the
Lusitania at Liverpool on 12th April 1915. He reported for duty at 8 a.m. on 17th April for the liner’s last ever voyage out of the River Mersey. Also on board was his brother-in-law, John McKenna, who served as a trimmer.
Having completed the trans-Atlantic crossing to New York without mishap, he was still serving on board on the early afternoon of 1st May, as the
Lusitania left there on the start of her return voyage to Liverpool. Then, six days out, on the afternoon of 7th May, she was torpedoed and sunk by the German submarine
U-20, within sight of the coast of southern Ireland. At that time, she was only about fourteen hours steaming time away from the safety of her home port.
He survived the sinking and was landed at Queenstown, and thereafter managed to make his way back to Liverpool where he was officially discharged from the
Lusitania’s final voyage and paid the balance of wages owing to him. In keeping with all the crew, his wages were calculated for the period of the voyage which was reckoned to be from 17th April 1915 until 8th May, 24 hours after the ship foundered. Unfortunately, his brother-in-law John McKenna was not as fortunate, and was counting amongst the missing.
He continued to serve in the mercantile marine for many years after his experience on the
Richard Walsh died in Liverpool in October 1952, aged 71 years. He was buried in Ford Cemetery, Litherland, Liverpool, on the 21st October 1952.
Register of Births, Marriages and Deaths, 1901 Census of England and Wales, 1911 Census of England and Wales, Cunard Records, John Murphy, PRO BT 350.