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The sinking of the Lusitania: A survivor's story

On her way home to Liverpool on the Lusitania

Fannie Jane Morecroft left New York on RMS Lusitania on the 1st May 1915, bound for Liverpool. The Lusitania was one of the great Atlantic liners, which rushed to and fro across the Atlantic conveying people at speed and in luxury.

Fannie was eager to get home. Her only daughter, and elder child, Caroline Mary Warwick, was 8 months pregnant with her first child and only 21 years old.

She wasn't a passenger on the Lusitania, but rather a Cunard employee, who worked as a stewardess in charge of a group of second-class passengers.

Fannie had been on the Lucy for some years, since just after her Maiden voyage, and she loved the work and needed the employment.

But it was hard to be away from her two children. She had arranged to have several weeks off work, in order to be with her daughter through the birth and first few weeks of the baby's life.

The Lusitania on her Maiden Voyage to New York

The Lusitania on her Maiden Voyage to New York

The Lusitania in her home port of Liverpool

The Lusitania in her home port of Liverpool

The Lusitania on her final voyage

The Lusitania on her final voyage

RMS Lusitania

The Lusitania, and her sister, the Mauretania were built during a time when the Atlantic liners were racing in order to win the so-called Blue Riband record for the fastest crossing.

In the early 1900s, the fastest Atlantic ships were German, and the British sought to win back the title. Lusitania’s maiden voyage from Britain to New York in September 1907 won the Blue Riband for a west bound crossing.

The Lusitania was a large ship. She had a tonnage of 31,550, and displaced over 44,000 tons. She was 790 feet long, and almost 90 feet wide. She carried nearly 2,000 passengers, and 850 crew members, including Fannie Morecroft.

Lusitania, like a number of other liners of the time, was part of a scheme whereby the British Government subsidised the building and running of the ships, and in return they could be requisitioned if needed by the Navy.

In 1913, the Lusitania was fitted with gun mounts on both sides. However, once the First World War started, the Admiralty decided not to requisition Lusitania as she was too big, needed too big a crew, and used too much coal to be efficient.

The Lusitania’s sister ship Mauretania became a troop transport, but Lusitania continued as an Atlantic liner, going mostly between Liverpool and New York.

Fannie's life until 1915

Fannie Jane Chamberlain was born in 1872 in London. She came from a respectable upper working-class family; her father was a compositor, a print setter, on a newspaper in Fleet Street.

Fannie showed signs of independence early. She met her future husband, Herbert Morecroft, when she was only 17, and the pair eloped when she was 18, and married in Manchester. She lied about her age on her marriage certificate, as at that time no-one could marry under the age of 21 without the permission of his or her parents, and Fannie did not have her parents’ permission.

Her husband, Herbert Morecroft, was 15 years older than her, and a widower. He came from an achingly respectable family in Liverpool. Following in the family tradition, Herbert trained as a solicitor and joined the family firm. He also married at the age of 24. 18 months later, his wife and newborn child were both dead, and Herbert Morecroft chucked in the law and became, to the absolute horror of his family, a travelling actor. In Victorian times, travelling actors were really as far from respectable as you could get. The marriage was therefore ignored by his family and opposed by hers.

The couple had two children, Caroline born in 1893, and Tom born in 1895. When the children were only 8 and 6, their father died. Forced to support her small family, in an age where it was hard for women to get properly paid employment, Fannie Morecroft became a stewardess onboard the Atlantic liners. Her children were looked after in a type of informal foster-care in and around Liverpool.

Fannie worked for the prestigious Cunard Line, on several different boats. By 1912, she was a stewardess on the Lusitania.

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In 1913, at the age of 19, Caroline Morecroft married a much older man, older than her mother, Dr. William Warwick. A year later, she became pregnant with her first child.

Captain Schwieber of the U-20, which torpedoed the Lusitania

Captain Schwieber of the U-20, which torpedoed the Lusitania

Warning advertisement in a New York paper, April 1915

Warning advertisement in a New York paper, April 1915

Commemerative German postcard issued to mark the sinking of the Lusitania

Commemerative German postcard issued to mark the sinking of the Lusitania

The First World War

By the time the Lusitania set off on her last voyage on May 1st 1915, the First World War was 9 months old.

German ‘unterseeboots’ (submarines) were trying to sink British ships, including merchant and passenger vessels, as part of the policy of "unrestricted warfare".

Ships headed to the United Kingdom were instructed to look out for the U-boats and take precautionary measures such as travelling fast and making zig-zag movements if possible.

At her top speed, the Lucy was several knots (nautical miles per hour) faster than the u-boats.

In February 1915, the German Government declared that they would attempt to sink without warning any ships in the seas around the British Isles. They announced that they would attempt to avoid sinking neutral ships, but guaranteed nothing.

On the 22nd April, an advertisement was published in the New York newspapers which sought to remind potential travellers that British ships were at risk of being sunk in the waters around the British Isles.

Daily Sketch (a London newspaper) gives its version of events on the Lusitania, "only a German could murder little children"

Daily Sketch (a London newspaper) gives its version of events on the Lusitania, "only a German could murder little children"

Royal Navy poster using the sinking of the Lusitania to recruit sailors

Royal Navy poster using the sinking of the Lusitania to recruit sailors

One of the mass graves for Lusitania's victims

One of the mass graves for Lusitania's victims

The last voyage

The Lusitania left New York at midday on her last, and 202nd, voyage, carrying 1,257 passengers and 702 crew. The passengers were an illustrious lot, and contained many well-known people.

As the Lusitania steamed across the Atlantic Ocean, the Admiralty was trying to track the movements of U-boats, including U-20, which was operating around the Irish coast.

On the 5th and 6th May 1915, U-20 sank three vessels off the Irish coast, and the Admiralty sent a warning to all British ships near or approaching the area that there was submarine activity.

The Captain of the Lusitania, William Thomas Turner, was an experienced Captain and took precautions.

The watertight doors inside the boat were closed, the lifeboats were prepared for necessary launching, and a black-out was imposed on the ship as a whole to try to make it harder to spot.

The Lusitania approached the Irish coast, and reduced her speed to 18 knots because of fog.

The sinking of the Lusitania

The Lusitania crossed in front of the U-20 just after 2pm. U-20 fired a torpedo at the Lusitania, which hit her under the Bridge. The torpedo hit the starboard side, and the ship began to sink fast.

Almost immediately after the torpedo hit, there was a second BANG. For many on the ship, it was a second hit, but that seems unlikely. Many theories have been suggested for the cause of this second explosion.

The Lusitania sank within 18 minutes of the torpedo being fired. Unlike, for example, the Titanic, the Lusitania carried easily enough lifeboats for all passengers and crew. The way in which the Lusitania was torpedoed, however, meant the ship listed severely very quickly. Of the 1,959 people onboard, 1,198 of them died. 128 US civilians were killed. The Captain of the U-20 noted in his log that:

The shot hit the starboard side right behind bridge. An unusually heavy detonation followed with a strong explosion cloud.

Great confusion onboard.


SOS and rescue

The Lusitania sent up distress signals once the torpedo had hit, and they were sighted from Queenstown, an Irish city about 12 miles away. (Queenstown, in the county of Cork, was renamed Cobh after Ireland gained its independence in 1922.)

Within six minutes of the torpedo hitting the Lusitania, her forecastle was already going under water. Of the 48 lifeboats on the ship, only 6 were properly launched, all from the starboard side. Some of the lifeboats washed off her decks as she sank and provided refuge for many of those in the water.

A number of boats were immediately launched and sailed to the site, arriving approximately two hours after the ship sank. 761 people were picked up by the Queenstown boats and taken back to the city.

A large number of bodies were also recovered, and a temporary mortuary was set up in Queenstown. Queenstown was not a big place, and the town struggled, although doing its absolute best, to look after the survivors.

Of all the people who died with the Lusitania, including 95 children, only 289 bodies were recovered. 65 of these were unidentifiable. Many of the victims of the Lusitania sinking were buried in a mass grave in Queenstown.

A baby, born in 1915, is the last living survivor of the Lusitania sinking.

Fannie Morecroft's experience of the sinking

"Mrs Fanny Moorcroft" is listed on the crew survivors list. Her age is given as 36. Her name is certainly misspelt in both first and surnames, and she had deliberately understated her age.

It was something she made rather a habit of; the immigration records at New York port from when she entered and left the United States during her employment as a stewardess showed that she aged far more slowly than the passing of years would suggest.

Another surviving stewardess is listed as Miss Marion May Bird. This woman, known as Birdie, was a life-long friend of Fannie’s, and they shared a house together in Sussex during their retirement.

There were 21 female stewardesses on the Lusitania when she left New York; 8 of them survived. Marion Bird described her trip on the final journey of the Lusitania. Her closest friend on the ship was her fellow stewardess Fannie Morecroft. May was on the Lusitania from its maiden voyage onwards, apart from a few months in 1914 when she transferred to another Cunard liner.

Immediately after the torpedo hit the ship, Fannie ran to the cabins she was in charge of, urging all passengers to go up on deck immediately with their life-belts. Many passengers were, she later gave evidence saying, "running around like a bunch of wild mice".

Fannie Morecroft and May Bird met after the torpedo hit the boat, on the starboard deck. Archibald Donald described May Bird as being in a boat where the rope had to be cut. Fannie Morecroft remembered a man and woman leaning against the rail begging, “in God’s name” for their children to be rescued. Fannie placed the children in one of the lifeboats.

Fannie and May left the Lusitania on the last lifeboat to be launched, no. 13. Fannie later said that the list of the ship "made us slide right across on to the rail". The lifeboat got caught in wires, which had to be chopped through together with the ropes so that the boat could leave the stricken Lucy.

The suction as the ship went down was much less than might have been expected for a ship as large as the Lusitania. Had the suction been as normal for such a boat, many more would have died, including Fannie. She described it until her dying day as a miracle.



Passengers Ruth and Osmund Wordsworth

Ruth Wordsworth was travelling with her brother Osmund on the Lusitania. Ruth was on her way to visit her parents in Salisbury, England, after her first spell as a missionary in Japan.

She met her brother in Canada, and they both booked a second class crossing on the Lusitania. Ruth gave an account of her trip on the ship, saying that she found all the crew to be friendly, especially the stewardess Fannie Morecroft.

Both siblings survived the explosion, although Ruth was not aware exactly how she had survived as she was knocked out by an explosion and regained consciousness in the water. She did not know whether her brother had survived until they met in Queenstown.

Ruth was injured and had to stay in hospital for some time, her brother joined the army and was killed in action in 1917.


Immediate Aftermath

The sinking of the Lusitania caused an immediate and passionate outrage against Germany on both sides of the Atlantic. The Germans tried to justify the sinking by claiming that there were Canadian soldiers aboard the Lusitania, and that the Lucy was carrying weapons or ammunition. There were 360 Canadians onboard, none of them soldiers. At least one was intending to enlist once he reached the United Kingdom, but was still a civilian.

The Germans also claimed that the Lusitania was carrying munitions. It remains a matter of some debate whether she was or was not carrying munitions. She did not have a large cargo hold, being a passenger liner, and was certainly carrying other goods. If it was carrying bullets, the most likely, that was a violation of merchant shipping, but was not a significant number of bullets. The British authorities said at the time, and after the investigation into the sinking, that the second explosion on the Lusitania was caused by coal dust exploding in the ship’s empty bunkers near the boiler room.

The sinking of the Lusitania was a turning point in American attitudes towards the First World War. In the weeks following the sinking, many articles were run in American newspapers including photographs of the prominent American victims. For example, in the 16th May edition, the New York Times had a two page article entitled, “Prominent Americans Who Lost Their Lives on the SS Lusitania” and another article on May 30th entitled, “Burying the Lusitania’s Dead – and Succouring Her Survivors.”

The sinking was used for recruitment purposes by the Royal Navy, including a series of posters. Postcards were printed, films made, plays and books written.

Fannie Morecroft as Chief Stewardess on board RMS Lancastria, in c. 1938. Copyright M. Clayton (not to be copied without permission).

Fannie Morecroft as Chief Stewardess on board RMS Lancastria, in c. 1938. Copyright M. Clayton (not to be copied without permission).

Fannie Morecroft as Chief Stewardess on board RMS Lancastria, in c. 1938. Copyright M. Clayton (not to be copied without permission).

Fannie Morecroft as Chief Stewardess on board RMS Lancastria, in c. 1938. Copyright M. Clayton (not to be copied without permission).

After the sinking - Fannie's life from 1915 to 1958

Fannie Morecroft made her way as quickly as possible from Queenstown back to the United Kingdom. The ship in which she was taken from Ireland docked at Liverpool, where her home and her daughter’s home were. It was 24 hours after the sinking of the Lusitania before Caroline Warwick knew that her mother had survived. Fannie Morecroft arrived back in Liverpool three days after the sinking, still wearing her stewardess’ uniform, and covered in smuts. Three weeks later, her first grandchild, Margaret Morecroft Warwick was born.

After the sinking of the Lusitania, Cunard banned women from serving on any of their ships for the duration of the war. Fannie Morecroft was extremely irritated about this, as she had been working for the company since her husband had died, and was worried about another way of making a living.

However, with the shortage of men, who had been drafted to the fighting in France, she was able to find various forms of employment, including as a tram conductor, until the end of the war. In early 1919, she resumed her career with Cunard, and eventually became Chief Stewardess on the Lancastria, with a grand stateroom of her own. She continued to cross back and forwards to New York until her retirement in the 1930s.

She never re-married, but saw her daughter's two daughters, Margaret and Patricia (born 1917) grow up. Both married, and her great-grandchildren knew her well.

The Lusitania tragedy was a significant event in Fannie's life. She lost many friends, saw the bodies of too many dead children and adult passengers to count, and went through the terror of the ship sinking under her.

Her first grandchild, Margaret Warwick, born just after the disaster, was my maternal grandmother. My Granny, mother and uncle all heard about the disaster from Fannie, and my great-great-grandmother's cool head and ability to survive everything that life through at her is admirable to this day.

In his eulogy after my grandmother's death in 2002, my father said:

Fannie Chamberlain (Margaret’s grandmother) also became an actress after her marriage, which seems to have been opposed by both families.

Margaret, Anthony and Elizabeth loved her, and her great-grandchildren still remember her as a redoubtable figure with a great sense of humour, who died in in her nineties.

Anthony says that Fanny Chamberlain was the one relative whom Margaret resembled closely, in appearance and personality. She had to struggle after her husband’s death. She became a stewardess in the Cunard Line to support her family. It was then an unusual but successful career, and she notably and glamorously survived the sinking of the Lusitania in 1915. We also have a photograph of her, imposing and confident in a large private state-room on the “Lancastria”, where she was chief stewardess. Margaret used to recall her bringing exotic presents home from New York. Not many people have had a granny like that.

Fannie Morecroft died on July 9th 1958. She was a widow for more than 50 years, and was survived by her daughter, son, three granddaughters, one grandson, and 8 great-grandchildren. 


Music book Fannie Morecroft bought in New York and inscribed with her name and Lusitania

Music book in my mother's possession

Music book in my mother's possession


Alex on October 06, 2016:

This was a great story i loved reading it u r a great author. u need to make more stories. do u write stories

Alex newcomb on October 05, 2016:


This is awesome u made it come to life

David on February 14, 2015:

Hi My Grandfather was saved. Who was from Liverpool and also served on the sister ship Mauritania. THOMAS Mr. John Saved Victualling Crew British Second Waiter.

Dummy on January 04, 2013:

It was terrible. A baby could do 100 times better.

Jasmine on June 09, 2012:

Awesome story! It's a great thing you know all these things about your great-great grandmother and that you still have a photo of her! Your father was right when he said that not many people had had a grandmother like that. Voted up, awesome and interesting!

Pamela Ann on April 21, 2012:

I recently visited the Queen Mary at Long Beach California. What an experience ! I felt as if I was on the Titanic ! Hearing the story of the Lucitania brings so much history to life ! Thank you for the history lesson !

notforlong on October 10, 2011:

yeah um i'm related to the captain of the u 20 so if you could spell his name correctly that would be great... its with a g not b... thanks for coming out... here's your participation ribbon

ursula taylor on August 12, 2011:

Amazing! I thought I'd google my great grandmother Fannie Chamberlain who I knew had been an actress and found all this! I knew about the Lusitania of course but early history is new to me. Thankyou London Girl for writing it up so beautifully.

Malcolm_Cox from Newcastle, England on January 05, 2011:

What an unbelievable story this is. I have recently published a hub on World War One and will be publishing part two which will touch on the sinking. Amazingly, it didn't bring the Americans into the war!

mquee from Columbia, SC on April 22, 2010:

This is one of those stories that you hope everyone will get around to reading. Interesting subject matter.

LondonGirl (author) from London on November 15, 2009:

Sorry Yves, I'm not sure what you mean?

yves on November 15, 2009:

would like to contact the menbers of photos from RMS Lancastria

thank you very munch


LondonGirl (author) from London on October 26, 2009:

I'm very glad you all enjoyed it. She was, by all accounts, quite a woman!

Alfreta Sailor from Southern California on October 26, 2009:

This is a very interesting history lesson. Most of us have heard of the Lusitania, but few have heard any in depth account. Thank you for sharing your family history. Very, very good.

Rajvir on September 14, 2009:

That was a really interesting story even for a 10 year old its cool how its part of your family history

mp on August 17, 2009:

wow that should be made into a movie or book... great story... crazy how they would fire on a passenger ship even with the suspicion they were carrying munitions... you gotta know the fallout from that decision wouldn't be positive...

Joanna McKenna from Central Oklahoma on May 27, 2009:

The photos of Fannie in her stateroom are great! What a wonderful accomplishment for a woman of her time!

LondonGirl (author) from London on May 21, 2009:

I have seen your work - it's very good.

There are several photos of Fannie Morecroft. Off the top of my head,there is one of her with her young children, from about 1905, one from the late 1920s, showing her as chief stewardess in her stateroom, and one from the 1950s showing her, her daughter, her grand-daughter, and her great-grandaughter. (The last of these is my mother as a child).

I'll get hold of them over the bank holiday weekend and scan them in, assuming my mother's happy with that. Can't see any reason she won't be, but I'd better check with her.

As for May Bird, I don't think we have any photos of her, but I'll check with my mother and uncle.

Mike Poirier on May 21, 2009:


My name is Mike, I did some research on Fannie Morecroft and May Bird. You may have seen my online series, Lest We Forget which is about the Lusitania. Is there a picture in existance of these two ladies? I've always been curious to what they looked like.


LondonGirl (author) from London on May 18, 2009:

Thanks - I'm very glad you enjoyed it. By all accounts, she was quite a gal (-:

Hovalis on May 18, 2009:

Your great-great grandmother must have been a fascinating person! The life of a stewardess was not an easy one, and to take the job on would have taken courage on its own. I really love reading histories where there is a personal connection, and you've really brought this to life.

I'll go along with the others who've said that this would make a great screenplay, or even a book.

LondonGirl (author) from London on April 30, 2009:

The Lusitania's story was something I grew up with, and has always fascinated me, too.

GeneriqueMedia from Earth on April 29, 2009:


Such an AWESOME article! I've been enchanted with both the White Star and Cuinard lines of ships ever since I was a kid and first learned of the Titanic.

Thank you for this well made article, your personal inclusions make it that much more inviting.



LondonGirl (author) from London on April 21, 2009:

that's very kind of you, and I'm glad you found it interesting!

Enelle Lamb from Canada's 'California' on April 21, 2009:

Holy cow...I have to scroll a lot to find the comment section...obviously many others feel the same way about this really is riviting and a thoroughly enjoyable and entertaining read! I keep coming back to your posts...

LondonGirl (author) from London on April 21, 2009:

How very kind! Glad you enjoyed it.

scottyy11 from Canada on April 21, 2009:

wow I am amazed at the quality and work that goes into top hubs very well written and good read.

LondonGirl (author) from London on April 20, 2009:

THanks Tony, Brian and techguy - glad you found it interesting!

techguy82 on April 20, 2009:

Beautifully written. You really are a story teller ;)

Brian Stephens from Laroque des Alberes, France on April 20, 2009:

Nice piece of history, well written.

Tony McGregor from South Africa on April 09, 2009:

Wonderful story very well told. Thanks LG for sharing. I love history with a personal connection like this.

Love and peace


joula_vegh on April 08, 2009:

London Grl ! Thanks for suc a nice hub i m realy fan of ur this Hub ....Keep it up Adnan

LondonGirl (author) from London on April 08, 2009:

Hi CD - I always listen to my ancestors' stories like this, I love them!

Camping Dan on April 08, 2009:

Thanks for this great story of a survivor. So many of our elders have great stories, though not as amazing as this, but we do not take the time to listen to them anymore.

LondonGirl (author) from London on April 07, 2009:

They'll have a lot to tell, by the sound of it!

Cindy Vine from Cape Town on April 07, 2009:

Yeah, probably and then, they'll be telling their kids about all our travel adventures and exotic places we've stayed....

LondonGirl (author) from London on April 07, 2009:

What stories do you tell your own children about your grandparents? That might be a good start (-:

Cindy Vine from Cape Town on April 07, 2009:

You know, your story has made me think, what legacy are we leaving for future generations ahead that we'll probably never live to meet. What stories will they be telling about us? I have to re-think my life here. What am I doing that I can be remembered for, hmmmmmm

LondonGirl (author) from London on April 07, 2009:

Cindy, I'm glad you enjoyed it. I grew up hearing about the Lusitania, it was part of my family story, as it were.

LondonGirl (author) from London on April 07, 2009:

Hi Jon - I've never been to Kinsale, I envy you! Hope you have a good trip.

JM - I'm glad you enjoyed it, thanks for reading and commenting

Cindy Vine from Cape Town on April 07, 2009:

Wow, LG, what an interesting story. You made the whole disaster come to life and 'humanised' it. I remember learning about the sinking iof the Lusitania as just one or two sentences in my history text book!

J Mockridge on April 07, 2009:

Enjoyable and interesting account of the Lusitania and her demise.

JON KIGER on March 27, 2009:

My Great-Grandfather, Albert Byington was on the Lusitania and also survived the sinking. Thanks for a great story.

I am headed to Kinsale next month and look forward to seeing the memorial there.

Jon Kiger

Atlanta Georgia USA

LondonGirl (author) from London on March 23, 2009:

Hi Jamie - I'm sorry to hear that. Hearing how your parents, grandparents and great-grandparents grew up is interesting and also helps you know your family and yourself better.

I'm glad you enjoyed it!

MissJamie on March 23, 2009:

Hi LG. This Hub was extremely interesting and fun to read. Thank you for sharing it with us. It's amazint and wonderful that you have tales such as this to share.

My family has never disclosed anything about their ancestors or even their own childhoods. It's very sad. I love to read stories like this.

Great job!

LondonGirl (author) from London on March 16, 2009:

fantastic! It's the one you shouted on digg yesterday, I think? It's a brilliant article, and your uncle must have been a brave man. Sad that he was in the Navy for such a short time before being killed.

William F Torpey from South Valley Stream, N.Y. on March 16, 2009:

Just a note, as promised, to tell you, LondonGirl, that I have now published the blog on my Uncle Bill Hogan. I hope you enjoy it. It's quite long, but it includes the story of his ship, my memories of him and the actual reports of 10 survivors. Here's the URL:

LondonGirl (author) from London on March 15, 2009:

I'm glad you found it an interesting article - thanks for reading!

Rik Ravado from England on March 15, 2009:

Very interesting and well written - well done!

LondonGirl (author) from London on March 13, 2009:

hi - glad you enjoyed it and found it useful!

El-said on March 13, 2009:

great work londongirl. I will keep myself busy this weekend with your write up on lusitania. It is a great research work. well done

LondonGirl (author) from London on March 10, 2009:

thanks for taking the time to read, and I'm glad it was interesting

Bob Ewing from New Brunswick on March 10, 2009:

That was an ejoyable and informative read, thanks.

LondonGirl (author) from London on March 10, 2009:

Thanks Britney - glad you enjoyed it!

britneydavidson from united kingdom on March 09, 2009:

wow great hub LG.great job done...the explanation and every thinng is so perfect.videos are amazing.....everything togethrt 5 * for you....i have enjoyed reading it....thanx for sharing it....

LondonGirl (author) from London on March 09, 2009:

thank you - I'm glad you enjoyed it. I grew up hearing of the sinking, it's an important part of my family's history.

Clive Fagan from South Africa on March 09, 2009:

Great Story of the Lusitania and really brought to life by the personal history. well wriiten , well researched and really interesting anecdotes. Excellnt writing it certainly brought thi event to lifefor me.

LondonGirl (author) from London on March 09, 2009:

thanks nightbear - I enjoyed writing it as well!

Anonymous Coward on March 05, 2009:

thx im vey enjoying..

LondonGirl (author) from London on March 05, 2009:

Please do let me know when you publish it, I'd love to read it.

William F Torpey from South Valley Stream, N.Y. on March 05, 2009:

I'll do that. I'm waiting for a picture I need, and I have the writing to do yet, buy otherwise it should be done soon. But I think I'll be putting it on my blog, which now contains the story of my grandfather. Like you, I find these kinds of hubs, or blogs, a lot of fun to do.

LondonGirl (author) from London on March 05, 2009:

I'm glad you enjoyed it - it's the hub that's taken me longest to write, but also the one I've enjoyed writing the most.

Are you going to do a hub about your Uncle? Please do let me know when and where you write about him.

William F Torpey from South Valley Stream, N.Y. on March 04, 2009:

This really fantastic hub is of special interest to me, LondonGirl, because I am presently doing the research necessary to write the story of my Uncle Bill, who died when his ship battled a superior Japanese force near Guadalcanal during WW II . His ship was sunk, along with its sister ship. I've also written about my grandfather, Shamus O'Brien, whose father died after attempting to rescue a sinking ship off the coast of Ireland. I've read the story of the Lusitania over the years, but your account and personal connection really bring the story to life.

LondonGirl (author) from London on February 26, 2009:

I've never been to Kinsale - but it was close to the sinking. THe ship had rounded Kinsale Head not long before the torpedo struck.

Glad you found it an interesting tale!

2patricias from Sussex by the Sea on February 26, 2009:

What an interesting story. Last year I visited Kinsale, in the Irish Republic. A short distance outside the town there is a monument to the sinking of the Lusitania, as it took place off shore from that part of the coast. Seeing the monument brought a long-ago event into focus, and this story has given it a human dimension.

Thanks for sharing.

LondonGirl (author) from London on February 25, 2009:

And in the Lusitania, you have a bona fide baddie, in the shape of the U-20 captain!

dineane from North Carolina on February 24, 2009:

Wow - LondonGirl - this is a GREAT story! I like the screenplay idea, too! I was thinking while reading that this story would certainly rival Titanic!

LondonGirl (author) from London on February 23, 2009:

I agree - it reminds me that it was people just like us who were involved in all these things.

Christine Mulberry on February 23, 2009:

A very interesting read. It's always the more personal accounts that make any story from history more memorable.

Ricardo Nunes from Portugal on February 23, 2009:

Great hub, I loved to read it.

LondonGirl (author) from London on February 22, 2009:

She didn't talk about it much until quite a while afterwards - apart from giving evidence to various enquiries, as she had to do.

Susan Keeping from Kitchener, Ontario on February 22, 2009:

What a great story. I'd never read any witness accounts before.

LondonGirl (author) from London on February 21, 2009:

Hi JG - I'm glad you liked it. SHe was a very special woman, brave, straight-forward, but also kind and loving.

Joanna McKenna from Central Oklahoma on February 20, 2009:

This is a wonderful story! Thank you so much for sharing it!

LondonGirl (author) from London on February 20, 2009:

thank you - I'm glad you enjoyed it!

Roberta Kyle from Central New Jersey on February 20, 2009:

What a wonderful personal account and what a lovely tribute to a remarkable woman. Of course I remember reading about the sinking of the Lusitania in school and was told that it was the reason America finally entered the conflict, but the personal story of someone who survived it makes it all real in a very special way--not just dry history but living, breathing people--and their descendants i.e. you! Thanks for sharing this with us here on Hubpages.

LondonGirl (author) from London on February 16, 2009:

Thanks SP - she was quite a woman, by all accounts (-:

SweetiePie from Southern California, USA on February 14, 2009:

This is a wonderful rememberance of Fannie and her life was truly fascinating.

LondonGirl (author) from London on February 14, 2009:

Thanks Christoph - I'm glad I managed to communicate it. When I find them, I'll add a scan of the photos of Fannie in her stateroom on the Lancastria.

Christoph Reilly from St. Louis on February 14, 2009:

A great telling of an historical event in history, with great supporting pics and videos. Your personal connection is exciting too, and you have captured these peoples lives with details that help us to identify with them. I'm coming back to spend some more time with all the videos. Thumbs up and a Digg too!

LondonGirl (author) from London on February 13, 2009:

Thank you for reading - I'm glad you enjoyed it.

bgpappa from Sacramento, California on February 13, 2009:

Really well written and thoughtfull Hub. Well done.

LondonGirl (author) from London on February 13, 2009:

What amazes me, really, is that she went back to work for Cunard after the war. You'd think being sunk would put you off a bit (-:

Amanda Severn from UK on February 13, 2009:

Great story, and very well told LG. You have put in so much detail and information too, which changes the narrative from a piece of history, into a story that we can relate to and empathise with. I thoroughly enjoyed this.

LondonGirl (author) from London on February 13, 2009:

thank you - I'm glad you enjoyed it!

Rochelle Frank from California Gold Country on February 12, 2009:

Fascinating family history. How special to have stories of those who lived through such an event. Well written!

LondonGirl (author) from London on February 12, 2009:

She kept the uniform, unwashed, as a reminder.

Sheila from The Other Bangor on February 12, 2009:

Fascinating. I love hearing all the details that don't get reported in the newspapers, etc. -- such as the fact that when she arrived back in Liverpool she was still wearing her stewardess's uniform. What a story. The ship sank in such an incredibly short span of time that it is miraculous more people didn't drown. Great hub, LG, thanks for writing it -- your great-great-grandmother would be delighted and proud.

Sufidreamer from Sparti, Greece on February 12, 2009:

Wonderful story - what an interesting family history, and your writing does it justice. I am having one of those great Hubpages nights where I keep finding the most fascinating Hubs. This is certainly one of them :)

Lgali on February 12, 2009:

I like this story

LondonGirl (author) from London on February 12, 2009:

Mighty MOm - glad you enjoyed it! BY all accounts (my mother, uncle, and Granny) she was a fascinating woman.

Elena. from Madrid on February 11, 2009:

Hi LG! Seems we all agree here... I was seeing a movie in my head while reading this! :)

Susan Reid from Where Left is Right, CA on February 11, 2009:

Hi LG, Fascinating personal/history lesson. I learned a lot -- your account is riveting as well as factual. And the personal connection to Fanny is fabulous! I agree with Madison you should write a screenplay. Or at the very least, tell us who you think would be a good actress to play the heroine! Cheers, MM

LondonGirl (author) from London on February 11, 2009:

thanks - coming from such a good writer as you, I'm flattered!

Madison Parker from California on February 11, 2009:


What a great story! I've read about the sinking of the Lusitania, but you made it come alive! You should write the screenplay for a modern version!

This was a beautiful piece and wonderfully written. I am going to take my time this weekend to read it again and to see all of the videos. How fascinating and a very cool story! Loved it.


LondonGirl (author) from London on February 11, 2009:

Glad you enjoyed it!

St.James from Lurking Around Florida on February 11, 2009:

I am a bit of a story behind the story in history kinda guy. So I really enjoyed reading.

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