Maxwell Napier Ray, from Southampton, was a bar steward on the Empress of Britain, a passenger liner owned by the Canadian Pacific Steamship Company. He travelled around the world several times before dying aged 27 when the ship was torpedoed in October 1940. The ship had first been attacked by an aircraft, and most of the passengers and crew escaped before she was taken under tow. She was then attacked by a u-boat and sunk. It is unclear whether Maxwell died in the first hit or the subsequent u-boat attack, but if the latter it is possible he remained on board to assist the rescue operation.