Antoni Budrin was born in Imperial Russia in 1865 and some time before the Great War, he had emigrated to the United States of America and settled in Greaville, New York, where he obtained employment.
In the spring of 1915, perhaps because of the deteriorating military situation in Eastern Europe, he decided to return to his homeland and as a result, booked third class passage on the
Lusitania bound for England, on the first part of his journey home.
He boarded the liner on the morning of 1st May 1915 at the Cunard berth at Pier 54 in New York and then had to wait until the early afternoon for the liner to set sail. This was because she had to embark passengers, crew and cargo from the Anchor Liner
Cameronia which had been requisitioned by the British Admiralty as a troop ship, at the end of April. Just six days out of New York, on the afternoon of 7th May, the steamer was torpedoed and sunk by the German submarine
U-20 within sight of the coast of southern Ireland, only hours away from her Liverpool destination.
Antoni Budrin survived the sinking, only one of 29 out of the 69 Russian nationals on board to do so and having been rescued from the sea, he was landed at Queenstown from where he later got to Liverpool. Some of the Russian survivors later complained to the Russian Ambassador there, that they had been badly treated in Ireland by the authorities.
It is not known whether or not Antoni Budrin ever completed his journey home or if indeed he managed to survive the war! He was aged 50 years at the time of the
Cunard Records. Liverpool Record Office. Graham Maddocks.
Copyright © Peter Kelly