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Cameronia Transfers

The SS Cameronia was an Anchor Line ship taken over by the British Government as it was about to sail from New York on Saturday, 1 May 1915.  As a result, all of her passengers were transferred to the Lusitania, also departing on that day.  These last-minute transfers delayed the Lusitania’s departure by 2 ½ hours.  The requisition of the Cameronia and the transfer of her passengers to the Lusitania not only added to the disaster’s death toll, but had the Lusitania not been delayed 2 ½ hours because of the transfer it would have been possible that the Lusitania and U-20 would have missed each other that fateful day on the Celtic Sea.

Simpson’s book claims that 70 or so passengers and crew came over from the S.S. Queen Margaret the night before the Lusitania sailed.  Per Simpson, “The passengers comprised sixty-seven men and two women, one of them with a baby.  They were accommodated on E deck and none of them appear to have survived” (110).

In light of further research, the quote above is entirely wrong.  So is the assertion following the quote saying a number of the transfers were a contingent of Canadian troops under the command of Lieutenant Robert Matthews heading for England out of the United States, in violation of the latter country’s neutrality.  Lusitania researcher Paul Latimer has found that Simpson’s alleged troop contingents of the Matthewses and the Palmer family, were never transfers were always Lusitania passengers.

The Queen Margaret transfer is contradicted in Bailey/Ryan, which states that the said ship was a non-passenger carrying cargo ship that left 2 days prior to Lusitania‘s sailing.  On the other hand, Hoehling/Hoehling notes that 41 passengers from the Cameronia were transferred to saloon and second cabin and most of the 41 were “enormously pleased” (34).  And why wouldn’t the passengers have been pleased?  After all, the Lusitania was larger, faster, and supposedly safer.  Traveling by Lusitania would mean arriving in Liverpool four days ahead of the Cameronia, had the latter not been requisitioned.

List of Transfers


Below is a list of 42 of 41 names.  If any of these names included shouldn’t be, please contact us.  Hildo Thiel has provided a list more complete than previously.

Italics denote survivor; asterisk (*) denotes that this site has not been able to verify if these passengers were transfers.

Saloon


BURGESS, Mr. Henry George
BUSWELL, Mr. Peter
GIBSON, Mr. Matthew Orr
MILLER, Capt. James Blaine
OSBOURNE, Mrs. T. O. (Ella)
STUART, Mr. Alexander
WRIGHT, Mr. Robert Currie

Second Cabin


AITKEN, Mr. James
AITKEN, Mr. James Jarvie
AITKEN, Master James Jarvie, Jr.
AITKEN, Miss Chrissie
ALLEN, Mr. John
BRYCE, Mr. Hugh B.
BRYCE, Mrs. Hugh B. (Arabella)

BUCHANAN, Miss Mary
CATHERWOOD, Mr. John
CATHERWOOD, Mrs. John (Maria Carson)
DINGLEY, Mrs. Howard (Catherine S. Glenn)
FRENCH, Miss Grace Hope
GALLIGAN, Miss Margaret
HAMILTON, Mrs. John (Isabella Murrhead)
HORSBURGH, Miss Martha
HUNTER, Mr. George H.
HUNTER, Mrs. George H. (Maggie)
LEE, Miss Bridget
*McCLURE, Miss Margaret
*McHARDY, Mrs. Annie
PIRIE, Mrs. Annie
PIRIE, Miss Margaret
PIRIE, Master Arthur
PROUDFOOT, Mr. Samuel Lamond
*REID, Mr. Peter
*ROBERTSON, Mr. Andrew
SHINEMAN, Mr. James
SHINEMAN, Mrs. James (Margaret McKenzie)
TIERNEY, Mrs. James (Mary)
TIERNEY, Miss Nina

Crew


CRAIGIE, Mrs. Margaret (Stewardess)
McGREGOR, Miss Agnes  (Stewardess)
LEITCH, Mrs. M. (Matron)
PHILLIPS, Miss Mary (Stewardess)
WEIR, Mrs. Margaret  (Stewardess)

Erroneously Thought of as Transfers


MATTHEWS, Lt. Robert
MATTHEWS, Mrs. Robert (Annie)
PALMER, Mr. Albert
PALMER, Mrs. Albert (Annie Oakes)
PALMER, Master Edgar
PALMER, Miss Olive
PALMER, Master Albert, Jr.


Contributors:
Paul Latimer
Senan Molony, Ireland
Eric Sauder, USA
Judith Tavares
Hildo Thiel, The Netherlands

References:
Bailey, Thomas A. and Paul B. Ryan.  The Lusitania Disaster:  An Episode in Modern Warfare and Diplomacy.  The Free Press, 1975.

Ballard, Robert D. and Spencer Dunmore.  Exploring the Lusitania.  Warner Books, 1995.

Cunard Line Heritage.  Online.  <http://www.cunard.com/aboutcunard/TheFleet.asp?Active=Heritage&Sub=fleet>

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.

Kludas, Arnold.  Great Passenger Ships of the World, Volume I:  1858-1912.  Patrick Stephens, Ltd., 1972.

Molony, Senan.  Lusitania:  An Irish Tragedy.  Mercier Press, 2004.

Preston, Diana.  Lusitania:  An Epic Tragedy.  Berkley Books, 2002.

Simpson, Colin.  The Lusitania.  Little, Brown, and Company, 1972.

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