The John Henry Hayes collection

composite of 2 portrait photos

Photographs of John Henry Hayes and Jeanetta Hayes on their wedding day. Accession number DX/1909

John Henry Hayes was junior 5th engineer on the Lusitania. He married Jeanetta Purves on 14 August 1914, less than a year before he lost his life in the Lusitania disaster. He was born in Liverpool and lived in Bootle with Jeanetta at the time of the Lusitania's last voyage.

John was never to know his daughter Jeanette, who was born just weeks after the Lusitania sank. The Cunard Steamship Company paid for her to attend school in Colwyn Bay, North Wales.

John’s widow Jeanetta was one of the last surviving Lusitania crew widows to draw a pension from Cunard Steamship Company. She died in 1984, aged 89 years.

archive portrait photo of a baby

Photograph of John's daughter Jeanette. Accession number DX/1909

The following poignant items were donated to the museum in 1999 by the family of John Henry Hayes:

  • Marriage certificate of John Henry Hayes and Jeanetta Purves dated 14 August 1914
  • Photographs of John Henry and Jeanetta Hayes on their wedding day, 14 August 1914
  • Photograph of junior 5th engineer John Henry Hayes in uniform on board ship c1915
  • Love poem to Jeanetta written by John Henry Hayes while serving on board the Lusitania, to mark New Years Day 1915. In it he refers to their unborn child
  • Birth certificate of Jeanette Hayes, daughter of John Henry and Jeanetta Hayes, born on 27 May 1915
  • Photograph of Jeanette Hayes, daughter of John Henry and Jeanetta
  • British War Medal 1914-18, Mercantile Marine Medal and Next of Kin memorial plaque awarded posthumously to John Henry Hayes
  • Board of Trade Letter sent to John Henry Hayes’s widow, Jeanetta. It accompanied the British War Medal and Mercantile Marine Medal awarded posthumously on 19 April 1922.
archive photo of John Henry Hayes in uniform on board the Lusitania

Photograph of junior 5th engineer John Henry Hayes in uniform on board ship c1915. Accession number DX/1909