Julius Victor Van Hoeke was born in Flushing, Holland on the 6th August 1887. In 1915, he lived at 195, Hornby Road, Bootle, Lancashire.
He engaged as a first class waiter in the Stewards’ Department on the Lusitania, at Liverpool, on 12th April 1915 at a monthly rate of £4-5s-0d., (£4.25p.). He reported for duty at 7 a.m., on the morning of 17th April before the vessel left Liverpool landing stage for the very last time. It was not the first time that he had served on the Cunarder.
He survived the sinking three weeks later, however and having been rescued from the sea, was landed at Queenstown.
On his eventual return to Liverpool, he was officially discharged from the ship’s final voyage and paid £4-9s-0d., (£4.97½p), which was the balance of wages owing to him. This represented his service from 17th April until 8th May 1915, 24 hours after the liner had foundered.
A list of crew members published by the Cunard Steam Ship Company in March 1916 shows First Class Waiter Van Hoeke’s surname to be spelled ‘Van Hoeck’, but the ship’s
Particulars of Engagement book which he signed on 12th April 1915, shows that he actually spelled his name as stated. In addition, the record states that his initials were
‘J.E.’ but should have read ‘J.V.’.
Julius Van Hoeke continued to serve as a waiter and steward on trans-Atlantic liners for many years following his experience of the
Lusitania, often using an anglicised version of his name – Hook. He served for many years on the
Aquitania, Queen Mary, and Queen Elizabeth, and when the trans-Atlantic liners left Liverpool and re-located their home port to Southampton, Hampshire, Julius followed.
Julius Van Hoeke died in Southampton, Hampshire, on the 26th November 1965, aged 78 years.
Register of Births, Marriages and Deaths, Cunard Records, New York Passenger Lists 1820 – 1957, PRO BT 100/345, PRO BT 350.