John Herbertson Bernstone Hyman Moffatt was born in Carlisle, Cumbria, in 1888, the son of William and Jane Moffatt. His mother had previously been married to John Orwin, who had died in 1880.
John was a professional seaman, serving as a steward in the mercantile marine on trans-Atlantic liners.
He married Florence Ann Clark in Manhattan, New York, United States of America, on the 26th December 1914, and they lived at 13, Fairburn Road, Old Swan, Liverpool, Lancashire.
He served as a first class waiter in the Stewards' Department on board the
Lusitania and was killed when she was sunk. He was aged 27 years.
His body was not recovered and identified afterwards and as a result he is commemorated on the Mercantile Marine Memorial at Tower Hill, London.
Some time in the summer of 1917, a letter was received at the Cunard offices from 9462 Lance Corporal G. Halstead, of 'F' Company 5th O.T.R Battalion, writing from Hut 6, Prees Heath Training Camp in Shropshire. He wrote: -
I should be much obliged if you could inform me if R. Moffatt, purser's clerk was one of the saved from the R.M.S. Lusitania.
Thanking you in anticipation,
The reply sent to him on11th June 1917 simply stated: -
We have your enquiry concerning R. Moffatt. We have made a search of our "LUSITANIA" Crew Records, but are unable to trace a Purser's Clerk of this name on board. There was, however, a John Moffatt, a 1st Class Waiter, and he, we regret to say, was lost.
THE CUNARD STEAM SHIP COMPANY LTD:"
Presumably, Corporal Halstead's enquiry was about a different person.
When Steward Moffatt's will was proven on 9th July 1915, administration was granted to his widow and his effects amounted to £607-7s-7d, (£607.38p). His father had died before him, on 6th September 1914. The Liverpool and London War Risks Insurance Association Limited granted Florence Moffatt a yearly pension which amounted to £37-13s-7d. (£37.68p.) which was payable at the rate of £9-13s-5d. (£9.67p.) per quarter.
His older half-brother, Nicholas Orwin, also served on the final voyage of the
Lusitania in the Stewards Department, as a Deck Steward, and was also killed when she was sunk. Like John Moffatt, his remains were not recovered or identified and as a result he is similarly commemorated on the Mercantile Marine Memorial at Tower Hill, London.
Register of Births, Marriages and Deaths, 1911 Census of England and Wales, 1901 English Census, 1891 English Census, Commonwealth War Graves Commission, Cunard Records, Robert O'Brien, Probate Records, UniLiv. D92/7, UniLiv. PR 13/24, PRO BT 334.