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The Lusitania : Part 1 : Contents

Stories life and death from the sinking of the Lusitania.…if it wasn’t for the worry I could say we’ve had a lovely trip. Nellie Huston, Lusitania VictimImage courtesy of Harald Advokaat 1. Contents 2. Introduction William…
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The Lusitania : Part 2 : Three Narratives

Each May marks the anniversary of one of the 20th century’s most notorious events; the sinking, by torpedo, of Cunard Line’s Lusitania off the coast of Ireland with the loss of 1198 lives. While she lived, Lusitania was known as one of a…
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The Lusitania : Part 3 : The Survivor

Lusitania survivor Barbara McDermott tells her story.There are two known Lusitania survivors alive at this writing. (January 2008)  Barbara McDermott, a personal friend to us all, appears in several segments narrated in the first person.…
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The Lusitania : Part 4 : The Families

Only a handful of the Lusitania’s families, and we are expanding the term ‘families’ to include mothers traveling with children, survived intact. Most did not survive at all.byCecelia Owens. Courtesy of Carol KeelerRonald…
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The Lusitania : Part 5 : The Struggle to Abandon Ship

Robert William Whaley, John Idwal Lewis and Walter DawsonRobert William Whaley... One of the few fortunate aspects of the Lusitania disaster was its timing. The majority of the passengers were high up in the ship, relaxing after lunch,…
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The Lusitania : Part 6 : The Port Boats

One enduring Lusitania myth is that of the chaos that reigned along her port side during her final eighteen minutes. Both historians and novelists have written of demoralized passengers, crewmembers struggling valiantly to push boats uphill…
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The Lusitania : Part 7 : Passengers of Distinction

Stories of some notable Lusitania passengers.Photograph taken 24th April 1915 showing final configuration of the boat deckDouglas Hertz, Lusitania survivor, may well have led the most colorful post-disaster lives of any of the…
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The Lusitania : Part 8 : A Hint of Scandal

Scandalous storiesThe sinking of the Lusitania had the undesired effect of laying bare the personal lives of those on board. Whether it was having to make one’s financial status public before the Relief Committee, or having to return…
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The Lusitania : Part 9 : Earlier Voyages

Lusitania, Eluding Enemy Nears Port...The general perception of the events leading up to May 7, 1915 is of a relatively normal service life suddenly disrupted by the famous German newspaper warning, after which came the disaster. Some…
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The Lusitania : Part 10: The Warning

THE WARNING:  “Now, if your upper classes run away like this at the first sign of danger, you can’t have any hope for the rest of your people, you know. What would you do in a time of war?”“What should she have done?”3000…
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The Lusitania : Part 11: In The Water; A Lethargic Drift into Death

Passengers who sank with the Lusitania who did not drown in the first few minutes soon faced a subtle but efficient killer. The water temperature was later given as low to mid 50’s, and under a beautiful, blue spring sky on a sunny afternoon,…
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The Lusitania : Part 12 : Gone Forever: The Dead and the Missing

Eyes picked out by birds...An elderly lady, between 40 and 50, hair turning grey, eyes picked out by birds, face full round and freckled. Fairly stout, about 5 foot three inches, very well dressed and wearing a lot of jewelry, and had…
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The Lusitania : Part 13 : The Morning After: Post Traumatic Stress

A deck view in Second Class Jim Kalafus CollectionThe Lusitania survivors, with the exception of the most seriously injured, resumed their journeys, and their lives, within a few days of the disaster. They were carried by ferry…
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The Lusitania : Part 14 : Casualties of War

Sitting at Barbara’s kitchen table, on a late summer visit, we eat potato chips from a bowl she has put out. “Don’t worry about the mess, I’ll clean up!” she says: Mrs. McDermott remains proud of her energy level and would not think…
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The Lusitania : Part 15 : Happy Ending/Immortality

We part from Barbara McDermott on a happy note. We always do. She shows us a press clipping of herself as a school child, dressed in Egyptian garb at some long ago school function; a happy moment from 1926 preserved; Barbara, forever young,…
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The Lusitania : Part 16 : Appendices

Appendix A: The Unidentified# 6.  Female. 60 Years. Dark complexion. Property. - 1 plain gold wedding ring (22 carat), no initials. Grave C. 10.  Male. 35 years. Apparently a seaman. Tattooed star on back of right wrist. Grave…