James Robert Wilson was born at Low Street, North Ferriby, Sculcoates, in the East Riding of Yorkshire, in 1880, the son of Joseph Ashton and Janet Wilson.
In 1904, he married Edith Lawis in Hull, and by 1915, they lived at 7, Mount Avenue, Bootle, Liverpool, Lancashire.
He was a professional sailor in the British Mercantile marine and engaged as a first class waiter in the Stewards' Department on board the
Lusitania and he was killed when she was sunk. He was aged 34 years.
His body was never recovered and identified and as a result, he is commemorated on the Mercantile Marine Memorial at Tower Hill, London.
In August 1915, his widow was given the balance of wages due to him in respect of his sea service on the
Lusitania’s final voyage. This was reckoned to be from 17th April to 8th May 1915, 24 hours after the steamer had gone down. In addition, The Liverpool and London War Risks Insurance Association Limited granted her a yearly pension that amounted to £31-14s-2d. (£31.71p.) per year, payable at the rate of £7-18s-4d. (£7.91½p.) per quarter.
Register of Births, Marriages and Deaths, 1881 Census of England and Wales, 1891 Census of England and Wales, 1911 Census of England and Wales, Commonwealth War Graves Commission, Cunard Records, UniLiv. PR 13/24, PRO BT 334.