George William Alfred Beesley was born in Liverpool, Lancashire, England in 1893, the son of George Henry and Emily Beesley. His father was a bookkeeper with the Cunard Steam Ship Company and the family home was at 12 Thorndale Road, Waterloo, Liverpool. George was one of two children, but his sibling died while in infancy or early childhood.
He was employed as one of three junior assistant pursers in the Deck Department on board the
Lusitania, having signed on at Liverpool on 14 April 1915, at a rate of pay of £6.0s.0d, for what would be her final voyage. He joined her at 7am on 17 April, before she sailed for New York.
When the liner was sunk, he and both the other two junior assistant pursers, (A Harrod and LH Sloane) were killed, along with the Purser, JA McCubbin and one of the assistant pursers, AH Burden. Only the Assistant Purser, WH Harkness, survived from the Pursers' Section.
George Beesley was aged 22 years when he was killed.
His body was not recovered and identified afterwards and as a consequence, he is commemorated on the Mercantile Marine War Memorial at Tower Hill, London.
When his will was proven on 7 July 1915, administration was granted to his father and his effects amounted to £101-19s-0d, (£101.95). In addition The Liverpool and London War Risks Insurance Association Limited granted a yearly pension to his mother to compensate her for the loss of her son, on whom she was obviously financially dependent to some degree, which amounted to £27-8s-5d (£27.42) payable at the rate of £2-5s-9d (£2.28) per month.
Register of Births, Marriages and Deaths, 1901 Census of England and Wales, 1911 Census of England and Wales, Commonwealth War Graves Commission, Cunard Records, Probate Records, PRO BT 334, UniLiv. PR 13/24.