Edwin Arthur Huther was born in Dublin, Ireland, on the 22nd of January 1856, the son of George and Ellen Huther. While Edwin was still a young child, his family moved across the Irish Sea to Liverpool, Lancashire, England. His father, who was a seaman, died in Liverpool in 1860, and the family then moved to Leeds, Yorkshire, England. Edwin’s mother was a theatrical costume maker. Edwin had a sister named Clara, who was two years his senior.
By the time Edwin was a teenager, he and his mother had moved back to Liverpool where his mother managed a boarding house at Lord Nelson St. in the city centre, and Edwin became a clerk to a cotton broker.
By the late 1870’s, Edwin had enlisted in the mercantile marine and was serving as a waiter on passenger vessels out of Liverpool and Glasgow, Scotland.
He was married to Jane Huther, (née Hughes) in 1899 or 1900, and they lived at 31, Albert Edward Road, Kensington, Liverpool. It is believed that Edwin had previously married in Liverpool in 1877, but nothing is known of this union.
He engaged as a first class bedroom steward in the Stewards' Department on board the
Lusitania at Liverpool on 12th April 1915, at a monthly wage of £4.5s.0d., (£4.25p.), and he joined the ship at 7 a.m. on 17th April before she sailed out of the River Mersey for the last time.
Having reached New York safely, on her voyage back to Liverpool, Huther had personal responsibility for the 21 persons in the fourteen saloon rooms numbered D35 to D63. Six days out of New York, on the afternoon of 7th May, the
Lusitania was torpedoed and sunk by the German submarine U-20, only twelve miles from the coast of southern Ireland and only hours away from her home port. Only four passengers from the rooms looked after by the first class bedroom steward survived the sinking and Huther too was killed as a result of the enemy action. He was aged 61 years.
His body was never found and identified and as a consequence, he is commemorated on the Mercantile Marine Memorial at Tower Hill, London. He is also commemorated on a plaque which once stood in Christchurch, Kensington, Liverpool. This plaque was moved to nearby Kensington Public Library in September 2001, after the church, which had closed down, had become derelict.
Administration of his estate was granted to his widow Jane on 17th June 1915, and his effects amounted to £1,673-15s-11d, (£1,673. 80p), which was a considerable amount for those days. In August 1915, she was also sent the balance of wages owing to him for his service on the Lusitania’s last voyage, which was reckoned from 17th April 1915 until 8th May, 24 hours after the liner had foundered. The Liverpool and London War Risks Insurance Association Limited also granted an annual pension to Jane Huther to compensate her for the loss of her husband which amounted to £23-11s-8d. (£23.58½p.), payable at the rate of £5-19s-11d. (£5.99½p.) per quarter.
Edwin’s widow, Jane Huther died in Liverpool in 1942, aged 85 years.
Register of Births, Marriages and Deaths, 1861 Census of England and Wales, 1871 Census of England and Wales, 1911 Census of England and Wales, Commonwealth War Graves Commission, Cunard Records Joe Devereux, David Irving, Robert O'Brien, Probate Records, UniLiv. PR 13/24, PRO BT 334.