Malcolm Robertson Simpson was born in Liverpool, Lancashire, on 6 January 1882, the son of Samuel and Euphemia Simpson. His father was a plumber and gas fitter who died when Malcolm was quite young.
In 1907 he married Alice Dennett in Liverpool, and the family home in 1915 was at 18 Seafield Avenue, Great Crosby, Lancashire.
Malcolm was a professional seaman in the British Mercantile Marine and served on board the
Lusitania as a First Class Waiter in the Steward’s Department when she sailed from Liverpool to New York on 17 April 1915. Having completed this voyage, he was on board when she departed from Pier 54 in New York harbour on 1 May 1915 on her homeward journey.
He survived her torpedoing and sinking when she was six days out of New York and only hours away from her home port, off the coast of southern Ireland. He was rescued from the sea and having been landed at Queenstown, he eventually made his way back to Liverpool.
In August 1915 he was paid the balance of wages owing to him his official discharge from the vessel being counted as effective from the morning after the sinking.
In later life he used to tell a story that he had worked before the war for the shipping company Alfred Holt and had owned a cat which always went to sea with him. When war broke out he decided to leave the cat at home and on the very day that the
Lusitania was sunk, the cat went missing and was never seen again!
Malcolm Simpson died in Crosby, Liverpool on 15th January 1942, aged 60 years. At the time of his death the family home was at 10 Stuart Road, Waterloo, Liverpool. When his will was proven on 20 November 1942, administration was granted to his widow and his effects amounted to £657-10s-8d (£657.53).
On 22 October 1943 his son, 659008 Sergeant Malcolm Simpson, was killed while serving with 100 Squadron, Royal Air Force, aged 28 years.
Register of Births, Marriages and Deaths, 1891 Census of England and Wales, 1901 Census of England and Wales, 1911 Census of England and Wales, Audrey Breen, Cunard Records, Probate Records, PRO BT 350.