The Lusitania Resource > News > On board #Lusitania, U-20 100 years ago – Thursday, 6 May 1915 – #Lusitania100

On board #Lusitania, U-20 100 years ago – Thursday, 6 May 1915 – #Lusitania100

32Alexei Monreal Collection

On board RMS Lusitania, Thursday, 6 May 1915: Saloon passengers Charles and Mary Plamondon celebrate their 36th wedding anniversary. Recollection of second cabin passenger Jane MacFarquhar:
On Thursday morning I felt rather uneasy when I discovered that the lifeboats were hung over the side of the ship. On inquiry, I was informed that it was essential that they should be so - according to law.... I noticed the other passengers did not seem to bother, so I also began to forget the lifeboats.
Letter from second cabin passenger Nellie Huston:
This morning we have all the lifeboats swung out ready for emergencies. It’s awful to think about but I guess there is some danger. We expect some [escorts?] coming to meet us today.... there are quite a lot of distinguished people in the 1st class but of course you couldn’t touch them with a soft pole! There is a Vanderbilt, one or two bankers. I have made lots of friends and if it wasn’t for the worry I could say we’ve had a lovely trip.
Charles Frohman and George Kessler hold parties in their saloon class cabins, and Kessler grills Staff Captain Anderson on why no lifeboat drills have been held. Vanderbilt buys a concert program for $5 from Phoebe Amory. In her words:
he could not resist my good natured smile...I met with similar success in nearly all of the cabins and on the decks and soon had realized well on my programmes.
Seaman's Charities Concert is held that night. Hilda Stones sings "Rosary." Captain Turner reminds passengers that they are in the war zone and not to light cigars/cigarettes on deck. That night, third class passengers Gerda Neilson and John Welsh become engaged. On board German submarine U-20: 8:00 am - U-20 chases after and guns down the 5,000 ton steamer Candidate. The ship is evacuated, and one lifeboat spills. Candidate refuses to sink after one torpedo, so the U-20 opens guns on the ship until the vessel sinks at 10:30 a.m. 1:00 pm - U-20 attacks the British freighter Centurion, 6,000 tons. He uses two torpedoes to sink the ship. Kapitanleutnant Schwieger orders his submarine to submerge at 2:15 p.m. Sources Jim Kalafus, USA Michael Poirier, USA Geoff Whitfield, UK Hickey, Des and Gus Smith. Seven Days to Disaster. G.P. Putnam’s Sons, 1981. Hoehling, A. A. and Mary Hoehling. The Last Voyage of the Lusitania. Madison Books, 1956. Kalafus, Jim, Michael Poirier, Cliff Barry and Peter Kelly (2013) “Lest We Forget : The Lusitania.” Gare Maritime (ref: #10962, accessed 27th April 2015 03:24:39 PM) URL : Larson, Erik. Dead Wake: The Last Crossing of the Lusitania, pages 196-9. Crown Publishers, New York, 2015.

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