Mr. George Arthur Gilpin

George Gilpin (1868 - 1915), 47, was a British export-import merchant who lived and worked in San Salvador, El Salvador. There, he worked in exporting coffee and importing machinery, electric trains, and water pumps among other commodities. George was returning to England to see his mother in Leeds, England, United Kingdom when he was lost in the Lusitania disaster of 7 May 1915. George's body was recovered, #245.

Hard times


George Arthur Gilpin was born February-March 1868 in Leeds, England. His father was James Gilpin and his mother was Elizabeth Mary Gilpin, born Cawthorne. Gilpin grew up in Salford, just outside of Manchester. He had a younger brother Walter and twin sisters Lily and Rose. His father James died sometime between the 1881 and 1891. The Gilpin family fell on hard times, so the family was split up. George went to live with his grandparents, the Shaws, in Leeds. They lived at 22 Museum Lane. His mother Elizabeth and twin sisters Lily and Rose stayed with his aunt, Louisa Calvert, who lived at 77 Regent Road in Salford. Walter was listed in the 1881 British Census as a member of Chatham Hospital's "Hunt's Band." George, Walter, Lily, and their mother Elizabeth were all living under the same roof again by 1891, on 42 Wynford Street, Salford. Rose was not living with them. At the time, George was a clerk, and Walter an engineer, turner.

From rags to riches


George found employment for the London Bank of Central America, Limited. In 1896 he moved to San Salvador in Central America via New York. He booked passage aboard the White Star Liner Majestic and went through Ellis Island on 9 January. George had not been married, and perhaps the bank's choice in picking George for the job was a cost-saving measure. In San Salvador, Gilpin quickly rose up the ranks and became quite wealthy. In El Salvador, Gilpin worked in exporting coffee and importing machinery, electric trains, and water pumps among other commodities. For his work in establishing the infrastructure of the country, especially in the water supply, Gilpin as bank representative was referred to with the deferential title Señor Don Gilpin. Accounts state that George was the honorary British consul in Salvador. The veracity of the story is unknown, but he may have worked in the consulate in some capacity. While in San Salvador, Gilpin presumably endured a coup or war or both, as the Union Jack above the bank became riddled with bullet holes. Gilpin came into possession of this flag and presented it to his sister Lily as a present. Since then, the flag seems to have disappeared.

Travels and Lusitania


Gilpin was a well-traveled man, shuttling between El Salvador and the United States and on to England from there. On 13 March 1901 he arrived in San Francisco, California, aboard the Newport, having sailed out of Panama. On 14 June 1909, he arrived in New Orleans, Louisiana, aboard the Harry T. Inge from Puerto Barrios, Guatemala. He returned to England from there, coming back through New York on 18 October 1909 aboard the White Star Liner Celtic. On 23 April 1915, Gilpin arrived in New York aboard the Calamares from Panama. He would be sailing on 1 May 1915 on the Cunarder RMS Lusitania to return to Leeds, England, to see his mother. George was lost in the Lusitania sinking of 7 May 1915. His body was found on the Irish shore, leading to speculation that he had initially survived the disaster and swam to shore, but subsequently died from his injuries or exhaustion, or that his body had just washed up on the coast. He is presumed to be buried in Ireland or Manchester, England. As Gilpin was a wealthy man upon his death, it is presumed that his wealth was inherited by his family. His sister Lily, who had married and lived modestly, came into some wealth enough afford a house in Leeds, which she named Salvador. Contributors Warwick Bartle (great-nephew of George Gilpin) Eric Sauder Members of RootsChat.com - The Lusitania Sinking & Philips Park Cemetery References Ellis Island. Statue of Liberty-Ellis Island Foundation. 1982. Web. 31 July 2011. <http://ellisisland.org/>. "The Lusitania Sinking & Philips Park Cemetery." Page 3. RootsChat.Com. Web.  31 July 2011.  <http://www.rootschat.com/forum/index.php/topic,302984.20.html>. "The Lusitania Sinking & Philips Park Cemetery." Page 4. RootsChat.Com. Web.  31 July 2011.  <http://www.rootschat.com/forum/index.php/topic,302984.30.html>. "The Lusitania Sinking & Philips Park Cemetery." Page 5. RootsChat.Com. Web.  31 July 2011.  <http://www.rootschat.com/forum/index.php/topic,302984.msg1872243.html>. "The Lusitania Sinking & Philips Park Cemetery." Page 9. RootsChat.Com. Web.  31 July 2011.  <http://www.rootschat.com/forum/index.php/topic,302984.80.html>.

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