James Redmond was born in Liverpool, Lancashire, England, on the 9th June 1877. Nothing is known about his family circumstances; however, on completing his education he became a chef/cook, and decided to pursue his chosen profession in the British Mercantile Marine, serving on passenger liners.
He engaged as a vegetable cook in the Stewards' Department on board the Lusitania for what would turn out to be her final voyage to New York. He reported for duty on board at 8 a.m. on 17th April before the liner left the River Mersey for the last ever time, and having crossed the Atlantic Ocean without incident, the Lusitania
docked in New York on 24th April 1915. She then left there on the early afternoon of 1st May, for her return to Liverpool and six days later, on the afternoon of 7th May, she was torpedoed and sunk by the German submarine
U-20, within sight of the coast of southern Ireland. At that time, she was only about fourteen hours steaming time away from the safety of her home port.
James Redmond survived the sinking and managed to return to Liverpool where he was paid the balance of wages owed to him in respect of his service on the
Lusitania’s last voyage, which was reckoned to be from 17th April 1915, until 8th May, 24 hours after the vessel had gone down!
James Redmond continued to serve in the mercantile marine for many years after his
Lusitania experience, serving on many of the great liners of that era, including the
Lusitania’s sister ship, Mauritania.
Register of Births, Marriages and Deaths, Cunard Records, PRO BT 350.