James Wallace engaged as a second class waiter in the Stewards' Department on board the
Lusitania and reported for duty at 8 a.m. on 17th April for the liner’s last ever voyage out of the River Mersey to New York.
Having completed this crossing without mishap, he was still serving on board on the early afternoon of 1st May, as the
Lusitania left there on the start of her return voyage to Liverpool. Then, six days out, 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 Wallace survived the sinking.