Leslie Fyfe Whalley was born in Liverpool, Lancashire, England on the 30th March 1894, the son of Harry Beaufort and Margaret Helen Whalley, and the eldest of four children. The family home was at 84, Aubrey Street, Everton, Liverpool, and his father was a book keeper for a railway company.
He was a large, jovial man with strong views on many topics. Before going to sea, he was a chauffeur in Liverpool.
He signed on as a third class waiter in the Stewards' Department on board the
Lusitania at Liverpool on 12th April 1915, for what proved to be her final voyage,
at a monthly rate of pay of £4-5s-0d., (£4.25p.). He reported for duty at 7.00 a.m. on the morning of her departure for America, 17th April 1915.
He survived the sinking and having been rescued from the sea, he was landed at Queenstown and eventually put on a ship to the mainland, probably to Holyhead, from where he caught a train for Lime Street Station, in Liverpool. At this point, his family was not sure that he was safe, but had heard that some survivors were about to arrive at Lime Street and hurried there to meet the train.
One can only imagine the emotional scene when they discovered that he was on the train. According to family lore, however, he did acquire a turn in his eye as a consequence of the shock he received.
Once home, he returned to his previous profession as a chauffeur and worked mainly for Thornton’s a well known local firm of builders and Humphrey’s, a local firm of undertakers.
On 15th September 1928, he married Beatrice May Philpott. Their family home was at 64, Burnie Avenue, Bootle, Liverpool. They had no children.
Leslie Whalley died at Walton Hospital, Liverpool, on the 12th February 1958, aged 63 years and was cremated locally. Probate of his will was granted on the 2nd May 1958 and his estate of £2,100-0s-11d. (£2,100.4½p) was granted to his widow, Beatrice May Whalley.
Register of Births, Marriages and Deaths, 1901 Census of England and Wales, 1911 Census of England and Wales, Cunard Records, Peter North, PRO BT/100/345, Probate Records.