Robert Anderson was born in Ireland in 1875. He was a provision merchant and in 1915, he had been living and trading in New York, N.Y. in the United States of America.
In the spring of 1915, he decided to return home to Ireland - and consequently booked third class passage on the scheduled May sailing of the
Lusitania, from New York to Liverpool.
He arrived at the Cunard berth at Pier 54 in New York harbour on the morning of 1st May 1915 - with ticket number 1807 - only to find that the liner's 10.00 a.m. departure had been delayed. This was because she had to wait to embark passengers, crew and cargo from the Anchor Lines vessel the S.S. Cameronia, which the British Admiralty had requisitioned for war service as a troop ship at the end of April.
The Lusitania finally left port just after mid-day and six days later, on the afternoon of 7th May, she was torpedoed and sunk by the German submarine
U-20. At that time, she was only about 250 miles away from her destination and within sight of the coast of southern Ireland.
It was probably the closest that Robert Anderson would get to his homeland as he was killed as a result of this action. As his body was never recovered from the sea and identified afterwards, he has no known grave. He was aged 40 years.
He does not appear in the list of passengers lost and saved which was published by The Cunard Steam Ship Company in March 1916, but he is on a list compiled by the company at a later time and updated as late as February 1917, now held at The Public Record Office at Richmond in Surrey. This record has been found to be a more reliable source.
Cunard Records, PRO BT 100/345, Graham Maddocks.
Copyright © Peter Kelly