Arthur Valentine Steinberg, always known as Arthur, was born in Liverpool, Lancashire in 1899, the son of Samuel and Elizabeth Steinberg, and one of eleven children. The family were of the Jewish faith, and the family home was at 43, Seymour Street, Liverpool. His father was a master tailor, and his mother supplemented the family income by keeping boarders at their home.
Arthur engaged as a stewards' boy in the Stewards' Department on board the
Lusitania at Liverpool on 12th April 1915 at a monthly rate of pay of £2-10s-0d., (£2.50p.), and joined the liner at 7 o’clock on the morning of 17th April, before she left the River Mersey for the very last time. He was aged 15 years when he signed on for the voyage. Despite his comparative youth, it was not his first voyage on the
Three weeks later, with the vessel six days out of New York and only hours away from her home port on the return leg of her voyage, Arthur Steinberg was killed, after she was struck by the
His body was not recovered and identified afterwards and as a result, he is commemorated on the Mercantile Marine Memorial at Tower Hill, London. He is also commemorated on the City of Liverpool Roll of Honour in the basement of the town hall.
In August 1915, his family was paid the balance of wages owed to him by The Cunard Steam Ship Company, in respect of his service from 17th April until 8th May 1915; 24 hours after the liner had foundered.
Arthur’s older brother, Abraham Adolphus (known as “Dolphy”) was lost, presumed drowned, on the 18th April 1917, while serving in the merchant navy as an engineer’s steward on board the refrigerated cargo ship,
S.S. Aracataca, on route from Liverpool to Dunkirk with a cargo of frozen meat, when she sank following a collision with another vessel, the
S.S. Moliere off Beachy Head, East Sussex. Like Arthur, Dolphy’s remains were never recovered and identified and both brothers are remembered on the family gravestone in the Jewish Burial Ground in Everton Cemetery, Long Lane, Liverpool.
Register of Births, Marriages and Deaths, 1901 Census of England and Wales, 1911 Census of England and Wales, Commonwealth War Graves Commission, Cunard Records, PRO BT 100/345, PRO BT 334.