Mr. Norman Albert Ratcliff

Norman Ratcliff, 36, was a British national from Gillingham, Kent, England, returning home from Hong Kong via Japan, the United States, and Lusitania. Ratcliff entered a port side lifeboat, which was lowered but the ship fell on top of his boat. He was saved from the shipwreck. Ratcliff frequently commuted to and from Hong Kong, then a British colony in China. He was returning to England via Japan and the United States. He left Japan aboard the ship Chiyo Maru, which also had aboard Lusitania passenger Captain Alick Scott. Chiyo Maru arrived in San Francisco, California, United States on 19 April 1915. Ratcliff traversed America and boarded Lusitania on 1 May 1915. His ticket number was 46115 and his cabin was B-45. As the Lusitania was sinking, Ratcliff was on the port side when he saw a lifeboat being lowered and jumped in. He was able to cut away the ropes that held the boat to the mother ship, but it was too late. The Lusitania fell on top of their boat and they went under. After the Lusitania sank, Ratcliff clung to a piece of debris with two other men. One man was too fat to pull himself on top of the debris. The other man ‘too far gone’ from shock. The latter man eventually let go and sank. Ratcliff clung onto a box in the sea for three hours before he was rescued. With him was a steward, likely Robert Chisholm, who told of Alfred Vanderbilt giving his own lifebelt to a woman (possibly Alice Middleton) and consequently Vanderbilt died. Ratcliff lived to be 80 and died in Maidenhead, England, on 9 November 1959. Contributors: Cliff Barry, UK Jim Kalafus, USA Peter Kelly, Ireland Michael Poirier, USA Judith Tavares References: Kalafus, Jim, Michael Poirier, Cliff Barry, and Peter Kelly ( 2013 ) "Lest We Forget : The Lusitania." Gare Maritime (ref: #10962, accessed 10th May 2013 08:32:30 AM) <> Poirier, Michael. "The Tale of Boat Fourteen."

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