Robert Pinkerton was born in Belfast, County Antrim, Northern Ireland, on the 11th August 1862, the son of Robert and Margaret Jane Pinkerton. On the 30th June 1885, he married to Eliza Jane Clokey, at Duncairn Presbyterian Church, Shankill, Belfast.
The couple had the first two of their nine children while living in Belfast, before moving to Liverpool, Lancashire. Robert was a ship’s baker, and the family moved to Liverpool so that Robert would have better job opportunities. In 1915, the family home was at 40, Linacre Road, Litherland, Liverpool, Lancashire.
He engaged as Chief Baker in the Stewards' Department on board the Lusitania at Liverpool on 12th April 1915 and reported for duty three days later before the liner left Prince’s Landing stage, Liverpool, for the final time.
Three weeks later, he was dead - killed as a result of the sinking of the ship. He was aged 52 years.
His body was not recovered and identified afterwards and as a consequence, his name is embossed on the Mercantile Marine Memorial at Tower Hill, London.
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, which amounted to £8-7s.-4d. (£8.36½p.) in respect of his service on board the
Lusitania from 30th 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 Eliza Pinkerton which amounted to £53-14s-2d. (£53.71p.) which was payable at the rate of £4-9s-7d. (£4.48p.) per month.
Eliza Pinkerton died in Liverpool on the 1st December 1939, aged 75 years.
1891 Census of England and Wales, 1901 Census of England and Wales, 1911 Census of England and Wales, Commonwealth War Graves Commission, Cunard Records, Northern Whig, UniLiv. PR 13/24, PRO BT 334.