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Posts tagged with 'lusitania'

Maritime Tale – Lusitania Survivor

4 May 2012 by Stephen

Painting of Lusitania

A contemporary postcard of Lusitania

The Lusitania story is one of my favourites because not only does the disaster seem unbelievable to this day but because this was Liverpool’s favourite liner.

At my local church – St James’s in West Derby – you can see a unique glass memorial with an image of Lusitania prominently included to symbolise Liverpool’s suffering in the Great War. Read more…

Bill Please

22 March 2011 by Stephen

Two paper bills

Image courtesy Liverpool Daily Post & Echo

I once forgot to pay my bill when covering a big news story in Derbyshire – quite unintentional, of course.


It was at Glossop and the pub landlady came running out calling to me and waving the chit. I put it on my expenses later. In this story all those involved were happy to stay alive, never mind any unpaid bills.


The wealthy American businessman was savouring his time on the luxury liner, relaxing and sampling the varied menus Read more…

Lusitania losses

29 November 2010 by Stephen

napkin with image of a ship and text

Image courtesy of the Liverpool Daily Post and Echo.

I find the words on the napkin, produced to commemorate one of the worst maritime disasters of the First World War, very moving.

To many people at the time the loss of the Lusitania came to symbolise Liverpool’s suffering, as she was the city’s favourite passenger liner.

The spectacular coloured glass war memorial at one of my local churches, St James’s in West Derby, uniquely uses an image of the doomed ship to silently express that grief. Read more…

Justicia justice

31 August 2010 by Stephen

At=rchivbe photo of the Lusitania at the Liverpool landing stage

I came across this story while reading about the conflict at sea during the First World War and was filled with gloom.

This liner seemed to have been earmarked for destruction from the start and was sunk even when under the protection of warships. Her brief life had been blighted by the misfortunes of other great ships.

The 32,234-ton Justicia was built for the Dutch Holland America Line at Belfast’s famous Harland & Wolff shipyard and launched just weeks before war broke out. Read more…

Luxury Lusitania

8 March 2010 by Stephen

archive postcard with illustration of a liner at sea

A contemporary promotional Lusitania postcard, circa 1910

It is quite frequent now to see large crowds at Liverpool’s Pier Head when liners and cruise ships come in but at one time it was a very common sight indeed.

I can remember many people shouting and cheering when the Empress liners departed on scheduled Atlantic crossings. It was a memorable spectacle – just like this occasion more than 50 years earlier.

The Lusitania, from her maiden voyage to New York to her sinking by a German U-boat submarine eight years later, was Liverpool’s favourite liner among the many using the port. Read more…

Survival rates show chivalry on the Titanic

2 March 2010 by Sam

old fashioned maid's apron

Titanic survivor’s apron

A fascinating article in the New Scientist, Women and children first? How long have you got? compares the sinking of two famous ships, the Titanic and Lusitania.

The Lusitania was torpedoed and sank within minutes, meaning that only the strongest and fittest had a chance of survival.

The sinking of the Titanic on the other hand took 2 hours and 40 minutes. This made a huge difference in the survivor profiles, as in a less panic-stricken evacuation the women and children were given priority in the lifeboats. Read more…

Beautiful sisters

26 October 2009 by Stephen

Model of a ship with smaller baots around

Model of RMS Mauretania

Throughout our lives chance can play a decisive part – perhaps I am tempting fate but I believe you can change the course of events. I do not subscribe to the theory that events follow a predestined path.

The following story, though, tests my credulity. It really looks as if this was all pre-ordained, not simply a German U-boat captain seeing his chance and ruthlessly taking it.

They were both hugely popular in Liverpool but one of the beautiful sisters was to have a tragic end while the other carried on until the close of her natural life. Read more…

Marconi marvel

12 October 2009 by Stephen

Postcard of a liner at sea

My postcard of the Republic

I sometimes go to postcard fairs and join the throngs of people leafing through piles of illustrated epistles mailed long ago with every sort of message and greeting. Each stall has cards sorted into themes and one of my favourites is ships and shipping. Recently I bought this card showing the Republic. I added it to my collection simply because I liked it, only later discovering the unique role this vessel once played.

One hundred years ago radio technology pioneered by Italian inventor Guglielmo Marconi and others became reality in saving lives at sea. Read more…

Lusitania horror

14 September 2009 by Stephen

Photo of a man in sailor's uniform

Staff Captain james Clarke Anderson. Image courtesy Liverpool Daily Post and Echo.

Some years ago I took my father to the Old Head of Kinsale in Ireland where we stayed in a remote hotel with superb views over the Irish Sea. Underneath the choppy, sunlit waters lay the twisted wreck of the Lusitania. Dad felt particularly sad because one of his earliest memories was seeing a mob attack a German baker’s shop in Liverpool after the sinking.

The destruction of the Cunard luxury liner by a German U-boat submarine sent shock waves around the world. Read more…

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