People's Stories

Everyone on the Lusitania's last voyage, including passengers and crew.

Bartholemew Gaul

Bartholemew Gaul

About Bartholemew

Bartholomew ‘Bart’ Gaul was born in Swansea, Glamorganshire, South Wales in 1886, the son of James and Sarah Gaul. He lived at 105 Fonthill Road, Kirkdale, Liverpool, Lancashire, England.

He engaged as a second class waiter in the Stewards' Department on board the Lusitania at Liverpool on 12 April 1915 at a monthly wage of £4-5s-0d (£4.25) and joined the ship in the early morning of 17 April, the day that the vessel left the River Mersey. He also served as a library steward.

He survived the sinking three weeks later and on his return to Liverpool, he gave a deposition under oath on 13 May, to an officer of the Board of Trade. His deposition reported:

"The said ship was in the vicinity of the Old Head of Kinsale when deponent who was in the 2nd Cabin Pantry felt the vessel shake fairly heavily and noticed people making for the deck.  Deponent went up to A Deck aft and found the vessel had a heavy list to starboard, so he proceeded to the after collapsible boats and with others started to get them ready for launching.

There were then several boats in the water and deponent called to one (presumably No 21) to unship the blocks and get away from the steamer, so that the collapsible boats could be launched.

After doing this, he went back to the boats to see that everything was in order and on returning to the ship’s side and pulling at the ropes, found that the blocks had been cut away.

Deponent then with others cut adrift empty **** lockers and threw them overboard and whilst doing this, the ship listed very heavily and sank bow first, deponent going down with her, subsequently coming to the surface near an upturned boat.

Deponent clambered on to the keel and eventually, with others, was picked up by the patrol boat 'Julia'.

The weather at the time was fair and clear and deponent saw no signs of any panic amongst the people on board."

The Julia was in fact a fishing vessel.

At some stage after his return to Liverpool he was officially paid off from the Lusitania’s last voyage and given the balance of wages owing to him, which amounted to £4-9s-6d (£4.47½.). In keeping with all the vessel’s crew members, this sum included pay up to and including 8 May - 24 hours after the sinking.

His older brother Richard Gaul, who lived nearby at 104B Fonthill Road, Kirkdale, also served as a greaser on board the Lusitania. He was less fortunate than his brother, however, as he lost his life in the sinking. His body was never recovered and identified afterwards.

Bart married Florence Anderson in Liverpool in 1918, and continued to serve as a waiter on transatlantic liners until at least 1927.

He died on 23 February 1929 in Liverpool, aged 42 years.


Register of Births, Marriages and Deaths, 1891 Census of England and Wales, 1901 Census of England and Wales, 1911 Census of England and Wales, Cunard Records, PRO ADM 137/1058, PRO BT 100/345, PRO BT 349.

Bartholemew Gaul



Age at time of sailing:

Address at time of sailing:
105 Fonthill Road, Kirkdale, Liverpool
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