Ratcliffe, Peter

312 Peter Ratcliffe, age 47, according to the Cunard Line. He was a fireman on the Lusitania and was the son of William, a general porter born about 1853 at Liverpool, and the late Mary Anne (nee Kelly; she had been born about 1850 at Liverpool) Ratcliffe. His parents had married in 1876. He had been born at Liverpool 8 January 1878. In 1881, he was 3 years old and lived with his family at Blundell Street in Liverpool. He had two sisters; Sarah, 5, and Mary J., an infant. In 1891, the family had relocated to Fisher Street and there were two new siblings; William, 7, and Alice, 2. Peter Ratcliffe married Margaret Melia 21 April 1902 at St. Nicholas’ Church in Liverpool. His father was a William Ratcliffe. Peter was working as a labourer at the Queens Dock and living in Dexter Street. On 27th March 1895 he joined the Militia, 4th Battalion, Liverpool regiment (service No. 3305). Eighteen months later on 18th September 1896 when he signed up for twelve years with the 2nd Battalion, King’s Liverpool Regiment (service number 5412) the family were living in Pilgrim Street. Peter spent over two years in South Africa and after almost after five years service he was found to be medically unfit and discharged. He returned home to his family at 13 Parliament Street and, like his father, found work as a labourer at the docks. He was the husband of Margaret Ratcliffe (nee Melia), of 1, Court House, Back Grafton Street, Liverpool, whom he had married in 1902.

On 4th August 1914 Britain declared war on Germany. Peter was quick to enlist. Although not back to full health he joined the 13th Battalion, Kings Liverpool Regiment, on 22 September 1914 (Service No. 12237). After eighty one days he was once again found to be unfit for service. (Echoes of Liverpool, p. 955?).

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