William Hendry was born in Liverpool, Lancashire, England in 1879. He later moved to Yorkshire, where he became manager of The Fleece Inn and The Flappit in and around Keighley, and then moved to The Black Bull Hotel in Haworth. Whilst in Yorkshire, he married Mrs Laura Walker (née Speight) who with her late husband, Mr William Walker, had run The Hare and Hounds in Keighley. Laura Hendry, who had two children, was a native of Keighley.
After working in the licensed trade, William Hendry moved back to Liverpool with his wife and her children to take up work as a waiter on the transatlantic liners and they set up home at 10 Chepstow Street, Kirkdale, Liverpool.
He engaged as a first class waiter in the Stewards' Department on board the
Lusitania at Liverpool on 12 April 1915, for what would be her last voyage out of the River Mersey. As a first class waiter, his monthly wage was £4-5s-0d (£4.25). He joined the ship at 7am on 17 April. He had sailed on her before.
Although he survived the sinking he was initially reported missing, which caused a lot of consternation both in Liverpool and Haworth and relatives from Keighley travelled to Liverpool to seek news of him. Eventually however he was listed amongst the survivors.
On his eventual return to Liverpool he was officially paid off from the Lusitania’s final voyage and given wages owing to him which amounted to £4-9s-6d (£4.42½) for the period from 17 April to 8 May 1915, 24 hours after the liner had sunk.
Register of Births, Marriages and Deaths, 1911 Census of England and Wales, Bradford Daily Telegraph, Geoff Chadwick, Cunard Records, PRO BT 350.