Jakim Babeicz was born in Imperial Russia in 1882. Some time before the Great War, he had emigrated to the United States of America and settled in New York, N.Y., where he obtained employment as a presser - presumably in a tailoring business. He was of the Jewish faith.
In the spring of 1915, maybe because of the war raging in his homeland, he decided to return there and as a result, booked third class passage on the
Lusitania bound for England, for the main part of his journey.
He boarded the liner on the morning of 1st May 1915 at the Cunard berth at Pier 54 in New York harbour in time for her scheduled 10.00 a.m. sailing which was then delayed until the early afternoon, as she had to embark passengers, crew and cargo from the Anchor Liner Cameronia. This vessel had been requisitioned by the British Admiralty for war service as a troop ship, at the end of April. Just six days later, on the afternoon of 7th May, The
Lusitania was torpedoed and sunk by the German submarine U-20, within sight of the coast of southern Ireland and only hours away from her Liverpool destination.
Jakim Babeicz was one of the 69 Russian nationals on board who were killed as a result of this action and as his body was never recovered from the sea and identified, he has no known grave. He was aged 33 years.
Cunard Records, PRO BT 100/345, Deaths at Sea 1871 – 1968, Graham Maddocks.
Copyright © Peter Kelly