Mr. Harold William Taylor

Harold Taylor
Third Class Passenger
Saved
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Born Harold William Taylor
1894
England, United Kingdom
Died 10 June 1960 (age 66)
Niagara Falls, New York, United States
Age on Lusitania 21
Traveling with Lucy Taylor (wife)
Citizenship British
Residence Niagara Falls, New York, United States
Other name(s) Hal Taylor
Spouse(s) Lucy Haddock (1915 – 1960, his death)

Harold Taylor (1894 – 1960), 21, nicknamed Hal, was the husband of Lucy Taylor.  They both lived in Niagara Falls, New York, United States.  They were newlyweds traveling aboard Lusitania to visit Harold’s parents in Manchester, England.  During the sinking, Harold placed Lucy in a boat and stepped back.  When the ship sank, he was sucked into a funnel and blown back out.  He and Lucy both survived the sinking.

Harold Taylor met Lucy Haddock at work in England; however, Lucy’s family immigrated to the United States in 1913.  Their romance could have ended then, but their relationship continued via mail and finally Harold came over so that they could be married.  Harold and Lucy Taylor were wed on 29 April 1915 at St. Peter’s Church in Niagara Falls.  The couple was on the Lusitania for their honeymoon and a visit to Harold’s parents in Manchester.

Harold said in a letter that they were told that the ship would make a dash up the coast in the cover of darkness, so they went to their cabin on Friday afternoon to begin packing. Hal was on deck when the ship was struck, and wearing only a shirt and trousers ran back to the cabin and announced to Lucy, “Well, that’s it.  We’ve been hit.”

“Hit?” Lucy exclaimed.

“Yeah.  We’ve been torpedoed.”

Lucy threw a coat over her shoulders and the two hurried out.  They had no lifebelts but Lucy was later able to retrieve one from their cabin.

The couple went to the first class deck and Harold was able to get Lucy into lifeboat #15.  Lucy refused to leave her husband and clung onto him desperately, but Harold pulled himself free and dropped her in the lifeboat.  She tried to climb back out to him, but the boat had started to lower and could not climb back out.

The deck sank from under Harold.  As he began to swim away, he was caught by the suction of a funnel that also sucked in Margaret Gwyer and Detective-Inspector William Pierpont.  The three of them were quickly shot out again in a cloud of soot from exploding boilers.

Harold swam from one piece of wreckage to another before came across a waterlogged boat with the bows staved in.  He spent two hours bailing until he was picked up.

The afternoon of the second day after the sinking, Harold spotted Lucy outside of the lobby of a Queenstown hotel and rushed up to her.  Lucy had already given up hope of finding him and was overjoyed that Harold was alive.  At the time, Harold was dressed in an sailor’s uniform for the lack of his own clothes.

Their individual claims included missing items such as her Quaker gray costume (wedding dress) , silver gravy ladle, fancy cushion covers, chinchilla great coat, and doctor’s visits.

Upon his return to England, Harold was conscripted into the British Army, where he fought on the battlefields of France.  Lucy stayed in England for the duration of the war to be as close to Harold as possible.  They returned to Niagara Falls in 1922, seven years after sailing aboard Lusitania.  They had four children.  A daughter, Marjorie, was given the middle name “Lusitania” after their fateful voyage.

Harold Taylor worked at the local electric company for almost 40 years.  He died in Niagara Falls on 10 June 1960 at age 66.  Lucy continue to reside in Niagara Falls, outliving her husband by another 16 years.

Both Harold and Lucy are buried in the same plot at the Acacia Park and Resthaven Memorial Gardens in North Tonawanda, Niagara County, New York, United States, in the Atonement Section Plot 168D.

Links of interest


“A Honeymoon Cut Short:  How One Couple Survived the Sinking of the Lusitania” at American Heritage (now offline)

Lucy Taylor at Find a Grave Memorial


Contributors:
Paul Latimer
Michael Poirier
Hildo Thiel

References:
Brownsten, Alan.  “Lucy Taylor (1896 – 1976).”  Find a Grave Memorial.  Online.  <http://www.findagrave.com/cgi-bin/fg.cgi?page=gr&GSob=c&GSmcid=46621260&GRid=26404902>.

Hickey, Des and Gus Smith.  Seven Days to Disaster.  G. P. Putnam’s Sons, 1981.

Vogel, Charity.  “A Honeymoon Cut Short:  How One Couple Survived the Sinking of the Lusitania.”  American Heritage.  Online.  <http://www.americanheritage.com/articles/web/20080616-Lusitania-Taylors-Lucy-Harold-Honeymoon-Cunard-Line-U-Boats-WWI-1915-Titanic-Liner-Disaster_print.shtml>.

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