Frederick ‘Fred’ Cooper was born in Portsmouth, Hampshire, England in 1896. He lived at 38 Dane Street, Bootle, Lancashire, England.
He was a professional seaman in the Mercantile Marine and he engaged as Fourth Baker in the Stewards' Department on board the
Lusitania at Liverpool on 12 April 1915. He reported for duty on the morning of 17 April, in time for the liner’s last ever sailing out of the River Mersey bound for New York. As a Fourth Baker, his monthly rate of pay was £3-15s-0d (£3.75). His previous ship had been the Cunard liner Ivernia.
Having completed this voyage, he was on board when the liner left New York for Liverpool just after mid-day on 1 May 1915. Six days later, on the afternoon of 7th May, the Cunarder was torpedoed and sunk by the German submarine
U-20, within sight of the coast of southern Ireland and within 14 hours sailing time of her home port.
Fourth Baker Cooper survived this sinking and after being rescued from the sea, he was landed at Queenstown and eventually made it back to Liverpool. Once there he was officially discharged from the
Lusitania’s last voyage and paid the balance of wages owing to him, which amounted to £4-1s-10d (£4.90). This was in respect of his service on board the ship from 17 April to 8 May, 24 hours after ’the greyhound of the seas’ had gone down.
Extra Fourth Baker John Kennedy, who also survived the Lusitania’s
sinking, lived next door to Fourth Baker Cooper at 40 Dane Street, and obviously knew him well.
Cunard Records, PRO BT 100/345.