James Benedict Haybyrne was born in Walton, Liverpool, Lancashire, England on 26 April 1884, the son of James Joseph and Margaret Anne Haybyrne. He was married to Bridget ’Bridie’ Mary Haybyrne (née Doyle) and they lived at 21 Bedford Place, Seaforth, Liverpool.
He engaged as a first class waiter in the Stewards' Department on the Lusitania at Liverpool on 12 April 1915 at a monthly wage of £4-5s-0d (£4.25) and reported for duty at 7am on 17 April, before the liner slipped her mooring from the River Mersey for the last time. It was not the first time he had served on the vessel.
He was killed three weeks later when the Lusitania was sunk. As his body was never found and identified afterwards he is commemorated on the Mercantile Marine War Memorial at Tower Hill, London. He was aged 31 years.
In August 1915 the balance of wages owing to him, was forwarded to his widow Bridget, in respect of his service on the
Lusitania’s last voyage. In keeping with all crew members, survived or perished, Cunard paid James Haybyrne’s wages from 17 April up to 8 May, 24 hours after the sinking. In addition the Liverpool and London War Risks Insurance Association Limited also granted a yearly pension to Bridie Haybyrne to compensate her for the loss of her husband which amounted to £31-8s-0d (£31.40) payable at the rate of £2-12s-4d (£2.61) per month.
Register of Births, Marriages and Deaths, 1891 Census of England and Wales, 1901 Census of England and Wales, Commonwealth War Graves Commission, Cunard Records, UniLiv. PR 13/24, PRO BT 334.