Ambrose James Moyle was born at 3, Wilks Court, Birkenhead, Cheshire, England, on 24th August 1894, the son of Ambrose and Martha Moyle. His father, who was a railway porter, died before Ambrose was born and his mother later married William Henry Iveson. As a result, Ambrose was brought up with the surname Iveson. He was educated at the St. Paul's Schools, Rock Ferry, and the family later set up home at 27, Warwick Street, Birkenhead.
Before serving in the Mercantile Marine, Ambrose worked as a window cleaner and was very popular with his customers, being renowned for whistling all the time he worked. When war broke out, he tried to enlist in the Army, but having been turned down on medical grounds in the spring of 1915; he decided to join the Cunard Steamship Company instead. At that time, he was engaged to be married to a Miss Comer.
Still using his step-father's surname, Iveson, he engaged as a scullion in the Stewards' Department on board the
Lusitania at Liverpool on the morning of 17th April 1915, at a monthly rate of pay of £3-15s-0d., (£3.75p.), just before the liner slipped out of the River Mersey for the last time. Having successfully concluded his first trans-Atlantic crossing to New York, he began his second on the early afternoon of 1st May 1915, as the liner began her return journey to Liverpool.
It was never completed, for six days out of New York, on the afternoon of 7th May, the Lusitania was torpedoed and sunk by the German submarine
U-20, within sight of the coast of southern Ireland and at best fourteen hours steaming time away from the safety of her home port! Ambrose Moyle was killed as a result of this action and as his body was not one of those recovered and identified afterwards, he is commemorated on the Mercantile Marine Memorial at Tower Hill, London. He was aged 21 years.
Eventually, in August 1915, his mother was given the balance of pay owing to him in respect of his sea service from 17th April to the 8th May 1915 - 24 hours after the liner had been sunk!
The family home in Warwick Street, Birkenhead, is very close to the scene of one of the anti-German riots which followed the sinking of the
Lusitania. The pork butcher's shop of a Mr. Dashley, who was of German origin, was sacked by a mob in nearby Oxton Road and Ambrose Moyle's family were always of the opinion that the mob was particularly enflamed by his death.
6134 Private Charles Edward Iveson of the 2nd Battalion, The King’s Shropshire Light Infantry who was killed in action in Belgium aged 21 years on 8th January 1915, lived at 12, Warwick Street, the same street as Ambrose Moyle and in view of the fact that they were both using the surname Iveson at their times of death, it is possible that they were related, through Ambrose Moyle’s step-father.
Cunard records erroneously show Ambrose Moyle’s assumed surname to have been spelled Iverson.
Register of Births, Marriages and Deaths, 1911 English Census, 1901 English Census, Birkenhead News, (photo 15/05/1915 p.2 c.4), Commonwealth War Graves Commission, Cunard Records, Vera Oldham, Peter Threlfall, PRO BT 334.
See MOYLE, Ambrose Joseph