James “Jimmy” Wiseman was born in Gardenstown, Banff, Banffshire, Scotland in 1881, the son of George Wood and Jessie Ann Wiseman (née Wiseman!). His father was a fisherman and fish curer, and resided in Gardenstown until the family eventually relocated to Broadford Bay, Isle of Skye, Inverness-shire, probably after 1915.
Jimmy Wiseman was unmarried and trained as a baker. He moved to Liverpool, Lancashire, England, where from 1898 he served as a cook and baker on a number of ocean-going liners sailing from the port. It is believed that he also worked in Netherbrae, Aberdeenshire, in Scotland, for a period.
In 1915, he was residing at 38. Percy Street, Bootle, Liverpool, with two of his siblings – Jack and Katie, and he signed on as a second baker in the Stewards' Department on board what turned out to be the final voyage of the
Lusitania. He was killed when she was sunk off the southern coast of Ireland on the 7th May, after being struck by a torpedo launched from the German submarine –
As his body was not recovered and identified afterwards, he is commemorated on the Mercantile Marine Memorial at Tower Hill, London. He was aged 34 years.
His brother Jack and sister Katie, who continued to reside at 38. Percy Street, Bootle, placed memorial notices in the Liverpool newspapers on the anniversary of his death for a number of years.
1891 Census of Scotland, 1901 Census of Scotland, Liverpool England Crew Lists 1861 – 1919, Commonwealth War Graves Commission, Cunard Records, Liverpool Echo, Liverpool Daily Post, UniLiv. PR13/6, PRO BT 334, Deaths at Sea 1871 – 1968, Graham Maddocks, Ruth Khan, Stephen Hargreaves.
Copyright © Peter Kelly.