Malcolm John Macfarlane was born in Sandy, Bedfordshire, England, in 1874, the son of Archibald and Euphemia Macfarlane. His parents were Scottish, and while still a child; his family returned to Scotland and settled in Cardross, Dunbartonshire. Both of his parents worked as gardeners in domestic service.
On completing his education, Malcolm became a grocer’s assistant, working for a time in Glasgow. He later moved to Liverpool, becoming a grocer’s commercial traveller, before joining the mercantile marine as a waiter on ocean-going liners.
He was married to Jessie Ann Ferguson in Liverpool in 1901, and in 1915, they lived at 35, Joliffe Street, Princes Park, Liverpool, Lancashire. They had no children.
He was employed as a first class waiter in the Stewards' Department on board the
Lusitania and was killed when she was sunk.
His body was not recovered and identified afterwards and as a result, he is commemorated on the Mercantile Marine Memorial at Tower Hill, London. He was aged 41 years.
In August of the same year, he was officially discharged from the last voyage of the
Lusitania and his widow was paid the balance of wages owed to him, in respect of his service on board the
Lusitania from 17th April 1915, until 8th May, 24 hours after the vessel had gone down! In addition, The Liverpool and London War Risks Insurance Association Limited granted a yearly pension to Jessie Macfarlane to compensate her for the loss of her husband which amounted to £27-14s-2d. (£27.71p.) which was payable at the rate of £2-6s-3d. (£2.31p.) per month.
Cunard records show his name as McFarlane but the records of the Commonwealth War Graves Commission show it to be
Macfarlane, and research has confirmed this. The Cunard crew roll was probably compiled orally at the time the crew engaged.
Register of Births, Marriages and Deaths, 1881 Census of Scotland, 1891 Census of Scotland, 1901 Census of England and Wales, 1911 Census of England and Wales, Commonwealth War Grave Commission, Cunard Records, UniLiv. PR 13/24, PRO BT 334.