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The Lusitania’s last voyage

24 June 2015 by Sarah

Captain Turner spots a film crew on the New York pier as the Lusitania departs for the last time. © J Kent Layton Collection

Captain Turner spots a film crew on the New York pier as the Lusitania departs for the last time. © J Kent Layton Collection

This is the 8th blog post in a series by J Kent Layton, maritime historian and author of ‘Lusitania: an illustrated biography’, to accompany the exhibition Lusitania: life, loss, legacy at Merseyside Maritime Museum. Read more…

Lusitania: ‘If business demanded’ it

19 June 2015 by Sam

Large ship being led into docks by 3 small tugs

The Mauretania being manuevered around the Liverpool docks by tugboats. © J Kent Layton Collection

This is the 7th blog post in a series by J Kent Layton, maritime historian and author of ‘Lusitania: an illustrated biography’, to accompany the exhibition Lusitania: life, loss, legacy at Merseyside Maritime Museum:

“As the winter months began to wind down in early 1915, bookings were increasing on the North Atlantic again. Fears were beginning to subside, and with the threat of naval dangers at sea seeming more remote to prospective passengers, there was apparently less reason not to travel. As a result, Cunard began to see an increased need for passenger capacity. Indeed, on her 202nd crossing, headed east from New York on 1 May, the Lusitania’s second class spaces were overbooked, and overall it was her longest east-bound passenger list since the war’s outbreak.  Read more…

HMT Lancastria: a survivor’s words

17 June 2015 by Jen

Private Tom Wood

Private Tom Wood. Copyright unknown; please contact us if you are the copyright holder of this image, as efforts to trace and obtain permission from the copyright holder have been unsuccessful.

Last week I blogged about the tragic loss of the HMT Lancastria in the Second World War and the commemorative service held at Our Lady and St Nicholas’ church last Saturday.  Used during the service were extracts from a first hand account of the sinking, as told by a survivor in a letter belonging to the Maritime Archives collections. Read more…

Lusitania and the world crisis

10 June 2015 by Sam Vaux

Two leaders standing side by side

Germany’s Kaiser Wilhelm II and England’s Winston Churchill together before the outbreak of war. © Library of Congress, Prints and Photographs Division/J Kent Layton Collection

This is the sixth blog post in a series by J Kent Layton, maritime historian and author of ‘Lusitania: an illustrated biography’, to accompany the exhibition Lusitania: life, loss, legacy at Merseyside Maritime Museum:

“On 28 June 1914 the heir to the Austro-Hungarian throne, Archduke Franz Ferdinand, and his wife were assassinated in Sarajevo, Bosnia. Very few people in the world had ever heard of this unfortunate couple, nor could they possibly have imagined what would soon result from the crime.  The problem was that all of Europe had for years been divided into two armed camps. Several times incidents had threatened to become all-out European war, but each time the peril had been averted—sometimes by only a narrow margin. Read more…

HMT Lancastria remembered 75 years on

8 June 2015 by Jen

HMT Lancastria in World War Two.  © IWM (N 375)

HMT Lancastria in World War Two. © IWM (N 375)

Of the many losses suffered by the Royal and Merchant Navies in the Second World War there is one which stands out for the sheer scale of the loss of life involved. The sinking of the HMT Lancastria is one of Britain’s worst Maritime disasters; she sank in less than twenty minutes, following a bombing attack, with the staggering loss of several thousand lives.
Read more…

Lusitania: cost overruns and teething troubles

20 May 2015 by Sarah

The Lusitania stands on the ways nearly ready for launch. J. Kent Layton Collection

The Lusitania stands on the ways nearly ready for launch. J. Kent Layton Collection

This blog post is the third in a series written by maritime historian and author J Kent Layton, the author of ‘Lusitania: an illustrated biography’, to accompany the exhibition Lusitania: life, loss, legacy:

“Over the years, I have tried to ‘fill in the blanks’ in the Lusitania’s history. One of the most fascinating things about the construction of the Lusitania and Mauretania is that not everything went according to plan. Read more…

Lusitania: an engineering triumph

15 May 2015 by Sam Vaux

Ship painting

Contrary to popular opinion, the decision in favor of turbines on the Lusitania and Mauretania had nothing to do with the success of the Carmania over her sister Caronia, pictured here. (J. Kent Layton Collection)

This blog post is the second in a series written by maritime historian and author J Kent Layton, the author of ‘Lusitania: an illustrated biography’, to accompany the exhibition Lusitania: life, loss, legacy:

“In order to propel the Lusitania at an unprecedented 25 knots, it was clear that something unique was going to be required in the design of her powerplant. Read more…

Cunard Staff display

11 May 2015 by Sarah Starkey

Image of a ticket for a Cunard Staff Dinner, Liverpool, 1924

Ticket for the 26th Cunard Staff Dinner, 1924 (reference DX/1851 part of)

In honour of this year’s 175th anniversary of the first Cunard sailing from Liverpool, we’ve changed the display outside the Maritime Archives and Library on the second floor of the Merseyside Maritime Museum. Read more…

Queen Victoria in Liverpool

30 May 2014 by Jen

Queen Victoria cruise liner moored in Liverpool

The magnificent Cunard liner MS Queen Victoria arrived this morning at the Liverpool landing stage to spend the night in the city, making her the first Cunard liner to do so since the Franconia in 1968. She is a spectacular sight down here at the waterfront and people have been flocking to see her, bowled over by her size and grandeur! Read more…

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