Richard John Pratt was born in Liverpool, Lancashire, either on the 23rd or 28th July 1891, the son of Alexander and Alice Pratt, and one of eleven children.
Richard was a professional seaman in the British mercantile marine and engaged as a Grill Cook 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.
Exactly three weeks later, when the Lusitania was torpedoed and sunk by the German submarine
U-20, she was within sight of the coast of southern Ireland on her return voyage to Liverpool and only about fourteen hours from home. Richard Pratt survived the sinking.
Eventually, he made it back to Liverpool, where he was paid off from the Lusitania’s last voyage. In common with all the liner’s crew, perished or survived, he was paid until 8th May, 24 hours after the vessel had gone down.
Richard Pratt continued to serve on trans-Atlantic liners for many years after his experience and died in Liverpool on the 18th March 1950. He was aged 58 years. He was interred in Ford Cemetery, Litherland, Liverpool.
Register of Births, Marriages and Deaths, 1901 Census of England and Wales, 1911 Census of England and Wales, Cunard Records, PRO BT 350.