Brantford Expositor - May 8, 1915

Remembering the 100th Anniversary of the Sinking of the Lusitania

BX May 7, 1915

Only Two Passengers Were From This City – William York of this City and His Sister Sailed on the Lusitania from New York – R.W. Crooks, Formerly of Brantford Also on Board

There was a Brantford passenger on the Lusitania, reported sunk off Ireland, he being William York, shipper for Ham & Notts, who boarded at 270 Brock Street.  He had been in Canada for about a year, and had been employed that length of time as a shipper by the Ham and Nott Company.  His wife and a 2 year old child reside in the old land, and he was returning to them on a visit.

He was booked on the Lusitania through the C.P.R. office here, and in New York joined his sister, a returned missionary from China, who was returning to England on furlough.

The officials of the Ham and Nott Company state that he is a fine specimen of a young man.

Is Former Brantford Man

Among the passengers on the Lusitania when it sailed from New York was R.W. Crooks of Toronto.  He was formerly a resident of this city, better known as Billy Crooks.  He was employed by E.B. Crompton and Co. for some time, and was a very effective tenor singer and a member of Brant Avenue Methodist church choir.  He removed from here to Hamilton and later to Toronto.

BX May 10, 1915

One Brantford Body Recovered – No Longer any Doubt But That R.W. Crooks Was Victim of Disaster

Although the announcement was received by wire yesterday that R.W. Crooks, formerly of this city, a passenger on the Lusitania, had been rescued, causing great rejoicing among his many relatives and acquaintances here, it now appears that a regrettable mistake was made and that Mr. Crooks was among the victims.  This afternoon the following despatch came over The Expositor’s wire, making it clear that the Brantford man, who was formerly connected with the Crompton Company here, but had latterly resided in Toronto lost his life, his body having been recovered and identified.

NEW YORK. May 10 – A list of names of identified dead among those who perished on the Lusitania was received by cable at the Cunard line offices today, including Mrs. G.W. Stephens, Montreal, and Robert W. Crooks, Toronto, (previously reported among survivors.

Had Premonition

In connection with his experiences on the ill-fated Lusitania, R.W. Crooks, who was travelling in his capacity as buyer for the Murray-Kay company, Toronto, with which firm he has been associated for the past few years, previous to which he resided in Brantford, had some forebodings regarding the journey.  While in Toronto two weeks ago Mr. Mills head of the dress goods department of the E.B. Crompton Company, conversed with Mr. Crooks in connection with business matters, and in taking leave of Mr. Mills, Mr. Crooks expressed his feelings that the trip which he expected to start on in a few days would prove disastrous to him.  He seemed to have a premonition of the fate of the Lusitania and freely spoke of his sentiments taking the trouble to twice bid good-bye to Mr. Mills instead of his usual carefree “so-long.”

To his wife, who remained in Toronto, Mr. Crooks similarly conveyed his feelings.  He even asked her not to leave home for any length of time until she had received a cablegram assuring her of his safe arrival in England.

No Word of York

The only Brantford passenger on the Lusitania who has not now been accounted for is William York, shipper of the Ham and Nott Company, but there are still hopes entertained that he may have been saved, as the list of survivors is not complete.  To date, no mention of his name has appeared either in the list of survivors or of bodies recovered and his many friends are eagerly awaiting definite word regarding his fate.  Although he had no relatives here, his family residing in the old country, he was a very popular young man and during yesterday and today The Expositor was many times asked over the telephone whether or not any tidings had been received of him.

Thoughtful for Family

The family of Mr. York will be well provided for in event of his being one of the victims, as a result of his thoughtfulness on the day before he left Brantford to start on his journey across the ocean.  Mr. York and family have been in the old country for a couple of years and Mr. York was going over to visit them and possibly bring them back to Brantford with him.  The day before he left he dropped into a local office and took out a $5,000 traveler’s accident Insurance policy, a premium of $2 being paid to cover the risk for a period of ten days.  He was putting the receipt into his pocket when a friend suggested that it would be just as well to leave it here so that in even of the boat going down in mid-ocean the family would not have any difficulty in realizing on the policy.  York took the advice, and on Saturday the friend who holds the receipt called at the office where the policy was issued to inquire what steps were necessary to protect the money for the family in event that it turned out that York was one of the victims of the wreck, which seems likely.

BX May 10, 1915

Not On Lists

There is no word whatever as to the safety or otherwise of William York, Brantford passenger on the Lusitania.  His name did not appear this morning in either the list of saved or the list of those who perished.  Friends here are hoping that for some reason or other, he did not make the tip from New York, though he had made all preparations for the trip on this boat.

BX May 11, 1915

Will Bring the Remains Here – R.W. Crooks Body Identified as Having Been Drowned in Lusitania Disaster – Interment Here

George H. Crooks of this city, this afternoon received a message from his brother, Frank in Toronto, that the body of R.W. Crooks had been identified beyond all doubt.  The body will be embalmed, and will be brought to Brantford for interment.  It is thought that identification was effected through a Masonic ring which he wore, and which bore his name, and through his watch, which was presented to him by Stanley Mills, Ltd. Of Hamilton, before he left for New York.

BX June 1, 1915

Went Down with Boat – Mrs. York Officially Notified That Her Husband Was Among Lusitania Victims

Mrs. Thomas who resides at 270 Brock Street, yesterday received a cablegram from Mrs. William York, who is in England, stating that she had received an official confirmation of the drowning of her husband on the Lusitania from the offices of the Cunard Steamship Company.  Mrs. York had been in England for the past 12 months, and although the general belief has been held that Mr. York, formerly employed by the Ham and Nott Company, and who left Brantford to sail on the Lusitania to visit his wife in England, had gone down with the ill-fated ship, the sad news was not officially confirmed until today.

Steps are now being taken to have a number of technicalities cleared away in connection with the payment of the travelers’ accident policy of $5,000 to Mrs. York.  Some difficulties have arisen in connection with the settlement of the matter, and John T. Ham of this city is consulting with his lawyers in order to have the proceeds made payable to the deceased’s wife.  It is thought that the matter will be arranged.

BX June 28, 1915

Expected Tomorrow

The body of R.W. Crooks of Toronto, the former Brantford man, who lost his life with the sinking of the SS Lusitania by a German submarine, is expected to arrive in New York tomorrow, and will be immediately forward to this city for interment.  Pending the arrival in Brantford the funeral arrangements have not been completed.

BX June 28, 1915

Funeral of R.W. Crooks

The funeral of the late William Crooks, who met death by drowning in the sinking of the Lusitania, will take place from his late residence, 151 Darling Street, at 2 O’clock Thursday afternoon to Greenwood cemetery.  The body arrived in the city this afternoon.

BX July 1, 1915

Funeral of Victim of Lusitania

Many and beautiful were the floral tributes at the funeral of the late R.W. Crooks held yesterday afternoon from the residence of his brother, Mr. George Crooks, Darling Street to Greenwood cemetery.  Victim of the German pirates who sank the Lusitania, many mourned his untimely death.

Reverend Matthew Kelly of the Congregational church officiated at the house and graveside.

The pallbearers were Dr. D.S. Sager, J.J. Kelly, Charles Penn, Toronto; F. Martin, Hamilton; Mr. Oxley Toronto, and Mr. Mills.

Out-of-town relatives and friends present were: Mr. and Mrs. Frank Crooks, Toronto; Miss Vera Crooks, Toronto; Mr. and Mars. Frank Marin, Hamilton; Mr. Charles Penn, Toronto, and Mr. Oxley, Toronto.

The floral tributes were as follows: Cross, Composing room, Courier; wreaths, Mr. and Mrs. F. Martin, Hamilton; employees Dominion Express Co., Toronto; Murray-Kay Ltd., Toronto; E. B. Crompton and Co., Sprays, Brother George and Sister Rena, Miss Quinlan, Mr. and Mrs. Penn, Toronto; Mr. and Mrs. Tullock, the Missies Hagadon, Mr. and Mrs. Frank Crooks, Dr. Keene, Miss Halloran, Mr. and Mrs. D. Burke, Sarnia; Mrs. Gibson, Mr. and Mrs. Powers and family, Mr. and Mrs. Hamilton, Picton, N.S.; the Misses Gillespie, Mr. and Mrs. J.J. Kelly, Dr. D.S. Sager, Miss Gardner, Mrs. And Miss Cahill, Mr. and Mrs. Frank Calbeck, and Mr. and Mrs. W.L. Hughes.